Pumpkin Like It’s 2003 Hero Image

Pumpkin Like It’s 2003

Digital Social Video

What better way to celebrate the Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte’s 
20th birthday, than by throwing it back to 2003 with early-aughts 
icon Ashanti?

For “Pumpkin Like It’s 2003,” Starbucks wanted to leverage the cultural moment of the Pumpkin Spice Latte’s 20th birthday by creating an emotional connection with Millennial and Gen-Z audiences via early-aughts nostalgia. Their goal was to position the beverage as timeless by providing an immersive look at how things have changed, evolved — and in some ways, as the PSL’s popularity proves — remained the same over the past 20 years.

Celebrity Talent

To build buzz around the Pumpkin Spice Latte’s milestone birthday, The Foundry collaborated with early-aughts icon Ashanti on a PSL-inspired song, featuring original music and composition, mixed with throwback vocal moments from Ashanti’s 2003 hit “Rock Wit U (Awww Baby),” and TikTok music video that took PEOPLE audiences on a visual and emotional journey back to 2003.

The music video tapped into the client’s target audiences right from the opening scene, which featured two sisters (one Gen-Z, the other Millennial) going through the older sister’s 2003 yearbook before it cuts to the big reveal — Ashanti.

Complemented by custom articles on PEOPLE and Byrdie, plus teaser stories on Instagram, the program also engaged audiences by examining fashion trends surrounding the iconic drink — both in 2003 and 2023. Through dynamic storytelling, we highlighted the PSL as a Y2K icon that never goes out of style.

Our custom TikTok garnered nearly 3 million views on PEOPLE, indicating reach and exposure at scale. Ashanti’s own organic posts had more than 1 million views, and overall sentiment was incredibly positive, with a range of brands joining the conversation. Commenters included Old Navy, DoorDash, Delta Airlines, and more.