“Painfully Generic Vignettes”

When I came across the new Dunkin’ Donuts tagline, America Runs On Dunkin’, I was underwhelmed. Now, Lewis Lazare of the Chicago Sun Times chimes in on the TV.

The new television commercials don’t do much to clarify what management wants Dunkin’ Donuts to become. We watched several of eight new spots, and all of them seemed to be painfully generic vignette commercials with Dunkin’ products thrown in for no good reason. Most of the spots also feature loud but forgettable original jingles obviously intended to appeal to a younger demo.
One of the weakest commercials featured a guy packing up a van for a vacation while holding a Dunkin’ Donuts iced coffee. Implausible at best. Another even blander spot showed several surfer dudes sipping some iced coffees while tooling around in a car. Yawn.
Yet another spot had a mother awkwardly climbing into a tree to retrieve her son between sips from a Dunkin’ Donuts iced latte lite. Yea, right.
It’s going to take much stronger work than this to clearly establish a new brand image and compel a lot of people to want to come in and see what’s changing at Dunkin’ Donuts.

See the spots for yourself at Hill | Holliday.

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. My biggest problem with it is the tagline. America runs on Dunkin’? Since when was donuts fuel?
    My guess is the agency got a shitty brief full of implausible mandatories. Agree on the TV spots. At the end I was like, “Huh? That was it?” I was expecting so much more.
    I have to applaud Hill Holiday for putting it out there on their blog for all to see and comment on. That would have me biting my nails to be sure.

  2. I agree that their blog is right on.