America Runs on Dunkin’

Baba Shetty


If you saw the Wall Street Journal article over the weekend, you know that Dunkin’ Donuts has some big ambitions.

“Armed with fresh capital from December’s $2.43 billion private-equity buyout of Dunkin’ Brands Inc., Dunkin’ plans to remake its nearly 5,000 U.S. stores over the next three years, and have triple that number in less than 15 years. Dunkin’ plans to unveil the first part of the new strategy Monday with an advertising campaign aimed at rebranding the chain as a quick but appealing alternative to specialty coffee shops and fast-food chains.”

So the brief that our team received last fall was pretty clear. Equip the brand to grow dramatically, and make sure we appeal to both the loyalists (primarily in the Northeast) who already know and love Dunkin’, and introduce the company to everybody else.

Today we’re launching a simple brand idea that we think does that:

America Runs on Dunkin’.

The America that we’re talking about here are the everyday folks who get things done. They’re unpretentious, comfortable just being themselves, and like to order their coffee in small, medium or large, thank you very much. They’re busy people who use Dunkin’ to get fueled up for work or play. They don’t have time to linger, because they’ve got things to do. But they do like to have fun. This is their brand.

The Work

There’s a ton of work associated with this campaign. We’ll show you some of it on this blog, but there’s a lot more cued up to be unveiled in the coming months.

First up: the store itself. That’s the place where the promise of Dunkin’ becomes the reality of Dunkin’. It’s the one contact point that we had to get right if the rest of the campaign was going to be credible. We actually started by thinking about the attitude of the counter-person who was going to serve up your tasty coffee and bagel. What if they felt like they had a mission at work—to help keep America running? Beats just working a drive-through window. So the first thing we showed the client was an inspirational, brand-right handbook for employees. Something like this:


We also did uniform and store interior designs, and packaging ideas like this:


One other really cool idea. As you pull out of the Dunkin’ drive-through, hopefully re-energized and ready to roll, you pass this graphic painted on the driveway:


That’s just a tiny bit of the in-store work. There’s a ton more stuff to show—outdoor, guerilla, online. And oh yeah, there’s TV as well, a few spots of which are posted below. We’ll share a lot more stuff with you over the coming days and weeks. Stay tuned.