A look back on developing the Starbucks Love Project: Global Sing-Along site

Starbucks Love Project development

When you hit ten years as a business, a lot of reminiscing happens around the office (or via Slack, if you’re a virtual team). Our reminiscing didn’t stop with our current staff because we have so many people who have come into WAM, made a huge difference, then went on their way. These folks have been in on the fun this month, and many have reminded us of big and small moments throughout the years that have brought us to where we are now.

Lately, the story of We Are Mammoth developing the website for the Starbucks Love Project: Global Sing-Along in 2009 has been coming up more and more. One of our alum, Mustafa Shabib, remembers it going a little like this:

There was the time Ka Wai, Mike, Craig, and I built the Starbucks Love Project Sing-Along site under super-tight time constraints. That was a lot of fun – we recorded ourselves singing “All you need is Love” probably 10,000 times while testing it. Then, we came in really early the day we launched to watch thousands of people “draw love” and watch a simulcast live broadcast of people around the world singing, “All You Need Is Love.” After that, it unlocked a part of the site that let people record themselves singing along to the song and you were able to click into a dot on the world map and watch the videos as they came in.

To give a little backstory, the WAM team was on a mission. That mission, you ask? Create a site that would bring in and support more than 150 countries together to sing at the same time, and sustain millions of views and submissions after the live broadcast in a way that kept everyone feeling as though they were in unison and part of a larger global community.

As you can imagine, it was no small feat. Some countries lacked the technical infrastructure to participate live. And even if they did have the infrastructure, we were dealing with 60 different time zones, different connection speeds and different tools to access to the website, just to name a few of the challenges. Everything had to be painstakingly accounted for, and no rock was unturned.

Needless to say, Starbucks’ vision for this project was huge, and we believed in it. To get a better sense of what they were trying to achieve overall, check out the marketing video that was posted days before the event:


In the end, WAM’s small team of seven people at the time made it happen. The results were something we’ll never forget.

Here are some major highlights of what this project achieved:

  • 156 countries participated in the Global Sing-A-Long live on Dec. 7, 2009 at 1:30 GMT
  • More than 3MM Love CDs were sold in Starbucks stores across the globe
  • More than 1MM unique visitors visited the site in less than one month post-launch
  • More than 25,000 people submitted themselves singing along after the live event
  • A Guinness Book of World Records award for Largest Simultaneous Global Broadcast

Most importantly? In one month, Starbucks Love Project: Global Sing-Along raised enough money to buy more than 7MM days worth of medicine for people living with HIV/AIDS in Africa.

Dozens of recap videos were made around the world to showcase Starbucks’ success with the Global Sing-A-Long. Here’s one of our favorites:


Quick note: Shout out to Mustafa’s wife, Jonnie, for coming to the office to make the team chicken piccata during one of the many late nights while creating this incredible project.