Bob Garfield

3 insane Starbucks campaigns

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Augmented reality, cryptic QR codes, and secret messages from Lady Gaga: These are the campaigns that blew our minds. Get inspired by the ideas that grabbed the attention of Starbucks' 24 million Facebook fans.

There's no question Starbucks is a forward-moving company. Most recently they've launched new digital payment options and a co-branded digital network. They continue to launch new products including an energy drink and juices while making great strides in sustainability and increasing their international expansion. The company is even making forays into alcohol, while continuing its inroads in grocery retail. These and other projects are helping Starbucks remain a bright spot on the stock market map, the company announcing last week a new record for 52-week stock value average.

But the coolest new things are coming out of the digital marketing department.

We recently spent time with Alex Wheeler, Starbucks' global head of digital marketing. She has, arguably, the most coveted job in digital: She's been hired to create unique, addictive campaigns for a market-leading brand. The easy access to vanilla lattes is also a plus. But the coolest part is how easy she makes her job look. She'd be the first to say it's a team effort. But we were floored by some of the digital campaigns coming out of Starbucks.

Here are the three most insane ones, starting with an underground digital scavenger hunt SRCH, kicked off by Lady Gaga.