Dunkin' Surprises With Offbeat Ads For Espresso Relaunch

Dunkin’ is rolling out slightly offbeat ads, along with a series of promotions and events, to support its latest weapon in the coffee wars: a new line of espresso beverages.

The BBDO New York campaign, “Sipping Is Believing,” includes TV spots and digital ads featuring quirky, edging-on-satiric humor — a noticeable departure from Dunkin’s normally sunny, energetic ads.

The atypical television ads show people in surprising scenarios. The idea is to draw a parallel with consumers’ likely surprise at discovering “handcrafted” latte, cappuccino, Americano and macchiato options at their local Dunkin’ shops, thanks to the brand’s new espresso equipment and recipe.

The recently rebranded Dunkin’, which first introduced espresso back in 2003, says that the espresso line reboot is a crucial initiative within its newly announced, beverage-focused strategy.



One 30-second spot (below) for the espressos compares office workers’ surprise at the Dunkin’ drinks with their surprise when they discovered that their childish-looking (but nasty) boss is actually 48 years old.

Another (above) has hospital staff resorting to using screen subtitles to communicate because they can’t stop drinking their espresso beverages long enough to talk.

Online, Dunkin’ is offering a 90-second video that spoofs the rash of clothing and accessories lines from brands ranging from Cheetos to KFC. The lightly satiric video pretends to promote a (faux) line of clothing with built-in pockets for hands-free carrying of espresso drinks, including “Cappu-chinos,” “Americano-veralls” and “Latte-nk Tops.”

The campaign also includes social media, radio and digital display ads, and promotions and events through the end of the year.

Dunkin’ is offering medium-sized lattes and cappuccinos for $2 all day from Nov. 19-25, and during afternoons from Nov. 26-Dec. 30.

On Nov. 23 — which, in addition to being Black Friday, has been designated “National Espresso Day” — Dunkin’ has partnered with Lyft to provide one free ride to a Dunkin’ location for the first 25,000 consumers who use the promo code SipDunkin between 4 a.m. and 3 p.m. Dunkin' will also offer the option of adding an espresso shot, for 50 cents, to any beverage purchased during that day.

Also through the holidays, various Dunkin’ locations will feature appearances by Michael Breach, a “latte artist” who will make portraits of guests’ faces on the hot beverages.

Dunkin’ also held nationwide sampling events on Nov. 16 and 17 to promote two new flavors of iced lattes.


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