Dumb Starbucks, where you can buy your dumb coffee and your dumb music, is, in the eyes of the law, an art gallery and the coffee is the art. At least that’s what the business, which popped up in Los Angeles this weekend, claims on its frequently asked questions page (pictured below). The business is identical to Starbucks in every way (same logo, same menu, etc.), except that it adds the word “dumb” before everything.
There’s no doubt that Starbucks, the Seattle based coffee chain which sent a cease a desist letter to a St. Louis pub for selling “”Frappicino” beer a few months ago, will take legal action immediately. A Starbucks spokesperson told The Wall Street Journal that they’re investigating the situation and are not affiliated in any way, shape or form.
In an attempt to create buzz, Dumb Starbucks handed out free coffee this weekend, and create buzz they did. The parody coffee shop had lines out the door all weekend and amused customers were willing to wait in line for over an hour. Whether or not they get shut down, the mystery owners of Dumb Starbucks Coffee have done an excellent job harnessing the power of their customers and the media to do their marketing for them.
Here’s what some people have been saying on Twitter:
— Hunter Hunted (@HunterHunted123) February 8, 2014
— Eli Nilsen (@eligirl99) February 8, 2014
The coffee is just as bad as the original! @ Dumb Starbucks http://t.co/aLrs7DTxzB
— David Blaise (@TheDavidBlaise) February 8, 2014
Is Dumb Starbucks a business attempting to find protection under, and cash in on, the current fair use laws, or just a clever piece of social commentary on Americans’ allegiance to shitty, overpriced coffee?