New Dunkin' Donuts Marketing Runs On Videos

In order to find out how its customers keep America running, Dunkin' Donuts has launched a promotion that invites consumers to upload video shorts to its new YouTube channel,

"How do you keep America running?" runs through February, with a panel of judges evaluating the free-form submissions to narrow the field and site visitors rating the videos to determine 50 winners, who get a year's supply of Dunkin' Donuts coffee. The Top 10 videos may also be featured on and other Web sites.

The effort, via Studiocom*, Dunkin Donuts' interactive agency, supports the Canton, Mass.-based company's two-year-old "America Runs on Dunkin'" campaign, via AOR Boston-based Hill, Holiday.

The video contest will be supported through online advertising with YouTube channels and its partners, Google, and other online communities.

Nick Dunham, media manager at Dunkin' Donuts, says the effort isn't the online consumer-content campaign aimed at Dunkin' Donuts loyalists. "Last summer we ran a successful promotion that encouraged people to submit their favorite iced coffee stories on These were text submissions, and we chose the best stories and posted them on the site," he says.



"We also ran a 'Great Lengths' campaign a few years ago where people submitted personal tales to about how far they had gone to get a cup of Dunkin' Donuts coffee. We then created commercials based on a few of the selected stories."

He characterizes YouTube as "a community that represents a different, more expressive channel for the general public to connect with Dunkin' Donuts. The 'How Do You Keep America Running?' campaign awareness is driven through different digital channels such as online advertising and email."

He says the company isn't shifting dollars from TV. "TV still represents a critical part of our media mix. There is no magic bullet to reach everyone in today's media world. We look at interactive as a supplemental layer to be used in conjunction with our other major media planks."

"Our loyal customers regularly tell us stories, both heart-warming and funny, about how they keep this country running," said Dunkin' Donuts Brand Marketing Officer Frances Allen in a release. "We're pleased to launch our new YouTube channel to give people a chance to tell their unique stories in their own creative way."

Some of those stories may be coming soon from China. On Friday, Dunkin' Donuts announced plans to open its first shops in Shanghai. Ninety-nine more shops are planned to open there over the next decade.

*Editor's note: The article was amended after posting.

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