So why do I have Kevin James ranting about muffins on here? To celebrate free Starbucks pastries! Today only Starbucks will be giving out free pastries...until 10:30 AM. You also have to buy a drink to go with it to get your pastry for free. Ok, so it's not 100% free.

Oh yeah, you also have to print out this coupon and bring it with you. Are you like me and don't have a printer? That's okay, you can take your mobile device (iPhone, Blackberry) and show the coupon on there.

Wait, don't have a PDA or other mobile device? Looks like you're S.O.L. No free pastries for you.

Why do a free pastry day? Also, why make hoops to go through in order to get a free muffin? Starbucks is hurting a lot due to the economy (the thing we blame everything on) and stiffer competition from Dunkin Donuts and McDonald's. The theory here (according to news articles) is to get people in the door and try their product, thinking that it will make them want to come back for more. However, most of the publicity for this is word-of-mouth. Anyone who has ever played the telephone game as a kid knows that word-of-mouth only provides us with so much detail and accuracy. The word of mouth will get people (like me) in the door to get something free. Many of those people will probably not know that it's dependent on having that printed coupon with you, or that it's only until 10:30, or that you have to buy a drink with it.

That's okay though. The promotion gets people in the door. Even if people go in there for a free pastry and can't get it for one reason or another, they will probably have the philosophy "Well, I came all the way here, might as well get something." They may not find exactly what they are looking for (free food) when they come in, but the fact still remains: they came in the door. It's kind of like if I titled this post "Lance Armstrong drops out of the Tour de France." Sure people would click on a link out of curiosity but they wouldn't find what they were looking for (because it's not true at all). Still,  the fact remains that I would see a huge spike in traffic on my blog.

So after this free pastry day, what's next for Starbucks? Rumor has it that they will be serving select beers and wines in the future in addition to coffee. This is already done at several coffee shops up here in Chicago, so it's not like Starbucks will be ahead of the curve with this idea.

Ask yourself after reading this: "Is he really that concerned with the marketing efforts of Starbucks? Or was he just looking for some excuse to put a video of Kevin James talking about muffins on his blog?" I'll let you decide that for yourself.

Carpe diem. Seize the day today. Go get a free muffin.