Dunkin’ declares support for The Donut Party in nod to election year

Dive Brief:

  • Dunkin’ launched a new campaign in support of National Donut Day (June 5) that spoofs the election year, including via a TV ad featuring The Donut Party “canDOUGHdates” like Jelly, Glazed and Boston Creme, among others in a debate, according to a press release shared with Marketing Dive. ​The 15-second spot will air during “America’s Got Talent” and on digital streaming platforms.
  • The candidates will be featured on digital menus at Dunkin’ stores and consumers can show their support with GIPHY stickers, Instagram polls and Zoom backgrounds. From June 3-5, consumers can also create party slogans on Instagram for the chance to win free donuts for a year. Participants must answer the question: “What does The Donut Party stand for to you?” with the hashtag #DunkinDonutPartySweepstakes to enter.
  • The company will be giving away donuts with a purchase on June 5 while Grubhub will give away a half-dozen donuts on some Dunkin’ orders. Creative agencies Jones Knowles Ritchie and Arc Worldwide worked on the effort.

Dive Insight:

With COVID-19-related lockdowns beginning to roll back and consumers growing tired of ads about the pandemic, Dunkin’ has turned its focus to the upcoming presidential election for its latest campaign with an effort that toys with the idea at a time when some consumers are looking for more levity.

The campaign gives Dunkin’ an opportunity to drive consumers into stores following a period of slower sales due to the health crisis. In Q1, the company reported a 2% drop in sales, with the final three weeks of the quarter sales dropping 19.4%, which it attributed to consumers staying at home during shutdowns. The chain is currently operating drive-thru, carry-out, delivery and curbside pick-up at select locations. Guests can order and pay through the Dunkin’ App or through Grubhub.

The new campaign also shows Dunkin’ incorporating a big digital focus, including by offering Zoom backgrounds as part of the effort. The video conferencing platform emerged as a potential marketing tactic during lockdowns as more consumers used it to connect with coworkers and friends. The inclusion of Zoom in Dunkin’s latest campaign suggests the platform could become a standard addition to the marketing playbook going forward as more consumers are expected to work from home and make video conferencing an ongoing part of their daily lives. Behr, West Elm and Red Lobster have also offered custom Zoom backgrounds as part of campaign efforts.

In another nod to how consumers’ lives have changed because of the pandemic, the chain is also offering DIY Dunkin’ Donut Kits — containing plain donut rings as well as different types of frosting and sprinkles so kids can decorate their own donut. These could be a welcome activity for families that have been balancing working at home and homeschooling. Hasbro and Pebbles cereal have made similar moves to support families during this time.

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