I preached a sermon on bitterness recently using one of my favorite illustrations. While we were pastoring in Seattle in the mid to late 1990’s “Overcome Bitterness” on white billboards appeared all over the city. At that time we were street preaching to makeshift slide shows; so this was a must take photo for our street preaching.
I assumed it was a Christian message and was waiting for the follow-up. When the follow-up came it was the perfect picture of not overcoming bitterness. The billboards were put up by “Seattle’s Best” coffee and they were taking aim at the “bitterness” of Starbucks coffee. Seattle’s Best was one of the coffee pioneers of Seattle. They had a flagship coffee shop downtown on Fourth that did more retail business than any other coffee shop in the world. Yet their Seattle success was dwarfed by Starbuck’s franchising success that began to really take off in the 90’s.
So they were bitter about the success and thus the ads. I tried to do a little internet search for some information about the ad campaign but came up blank. I see Starbuck’s bought out Seattle’s Best and in one article they were going to begin marketing Seattle’s Best in Subways. Bitterness always destroys.