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What We Can Learn From Oprah Chai

Bow down to Mama O and her magical chai! Photo credit: Starbucks

Bow down to Mama O and her magical chai! Photo credit: Starbucks

Oprah has thrusted herself one step further into our daily lives with the introduction of her new partnership with Starbucks and Teavana.

You see, with each Oprah Chai you drink, $.25 benefits youth education through the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy.  This latte is spicy, robust and not too sweet -- although honestly, an Oprah-crafted beverage should have floral notes like rose water!

My Oprah Selfie!

My Oprah Selfie!

We've long talked about The Oprah Effect (even joking that she picked our current president), but her team knows how to coordinate a smooth multi-channel effort.  She has a special way of staying ahead of the game and maintaining cultural relevance.  Love her or hate her, she's showing her continued ability to organically drive engagement just by being Oprah.

In 2008, she hosted one of the first live web series bouncing TV viewership to an online platform and bringing new age spiritualist Eckhart Tolle into the limelight with his book A New Earth.  She knows how to meet an audience where they are.  As an "O"-theist, I admire her ability to market and cross-promote on every channel, which is especially apparent in this Oprah Chai campaign.  

Oprah Chai conveniently debuted before Mother's Day.  Both Starbucks and Starbucks-owned Teavanas were flipped with collateral showing Momma O's radiant, smiling face -- and naturally,how can you resist an #OprahSelfie?  I couldn't.

Oprah branded coffee sleeves with inspirational quotes were sent out into the world to spread positivity and the power of a latte.  And baristas have asked me if I would like to help youth education today by having a chai.  Yes, please.

In advance of Mother's Day, Oprah launched a YouTube and ad campaign on her OWN Network encouraging all of us to take our mothers into Starbucks for an Oprah Chai - we buy an Oprah Chai and Starbucks will buy one for our moms.  It's like a giant hug from Oprah herself.

And on Mother's Day, for her signature OWN Show Super Soul Sunday, she interviewed Arianna Huffington inside a Starbucks and mentioned her tea at least ten times.

She's also launched a "Steep Your Soul" app (sounds painful, right?) on her website in honor of all things Oprah Chai.

Always savvy and with a high-level of awareness for her brand and the impact it can make, Oprah and her team know what they are doing in a marketplace that thrives on online social connection.

Have you had your Oprah Chai?

Kevin Clay