Going To Great Lengths To Compete With Starbucks

Lewis Lazare: Maybe it’s the name. Dunkin’ Donuts, after all, doesn’t suggest it’s a chain that puts quite as much emphasis on its coffee as it does doughnuts. But starting this week in the Chicago market, and nationally as well, Dunkin’ Donuts is introducing a new ad campaign from Hill, Holliday Connors Cosmopulous/Boston that hopes to convey the message the chain takes its coffee very seriously indeed.
The launch commercial, called “Traffic,” is supposedly based on a true story provided by a loyal Dunkin’ Donuts customer in Brockton, Mass. It opens with a woman leaving a Dunkin’ Donuts shop with a tray of four coffees. As she makes her way through the parking lot, we assume she’s going to her car.
She continues past the lot and goes on walking for what looks to be a few miles until she reaches a gridlocked expressway where she climbs over the guardrail and crosses three lanes of traffic before she finds the car she’s been looking for. She then gets inside and hands her co-workers the coffees they’ve been waiting for as the voiceover helps explain the strange scenario we’ve just witnessed: “Why do people go to these kinds of great lengths for our coffee? Because we do.”

About David Burn

Co-founder and editor of AdPulp. I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. I worked for seven agencies in five states before launching my own practice in 2009. Today, I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.


  1. I swear I’ve seen that spot already. I live in Boston so it’s likely they ran it locally. Or maybe it’s that I’ve heard that story so many times I *think* I’ve seen the spot. Still, I am so sure I’ve seen it.

  2. Stephanie says:

    I’ve seen it, too; it is running in Boston. All I can say is thank God they’ve replaced those banners at Logan Airport that showed a cup of Dunk’s coffee with the copy “Your own personal tail wind.”