The Black Box Transformation

Starbucks is trying something new.

Image via Mashable courtesy of

Image via Mashable courtesy of

They have installed a video feed in some drive-thru locations so that patrons can see the employees taking their order and vice versa.

Why was this necessary and what does it signify? 

This was necessary because as consumers, we are starting to relate to brands far more visually than we used to. 

If you look at the amount of visual branded content on the web now and the stats around just how much we interact with visual content (search any recent YouTube staggering number) ... it only seems logical to add a layer of video over what was previously a black box (of audio). 

Starbucks just personified the drive-thru black box by literally adding a person to it. 

Starbucks just became even more human. 

What can your brand learn from this transformation? Where can you add in elements of personification? Where is your black box? 

p.s. In all my references to black boxes, I realize aircrafts also have black boxes; however, my references have nothing to do with that. Also, an aircraft's black box is actually orange.