- Dunkin’ released its second ad starring Ben Affleck, building on a well-received Super Bowl campaign from February, per details shared with Marketing Dive.
- “Dunkin’ Run featuring Ben Affleck” depicts the filmmaker visiting a Boston-area Dunkin’ location, where the staff mistake him for Matt Damon, his frequent collaborator and co-star in the upcoming movie “Air.” Affleck reacts to the mix-up in a typically beleaguered fashion before grabbing a Dunkin’ Run meal.
- As with the Super Bowl push, Affleck directed the ad, along with hand-picking the cast and crew. The effort was conceived and developed by Affleck and Damon’s recently launched production house, Artists Equity, as Dunkin’ experiments with new creative partners.
Dunkin’ is shoring up an official association with Affleck following a debut Super Bowl campaign that broke through the clutter of a big game overcrowded with celebrity endorsements. The prior ad showed Affleck working the drive-thru of a real Dunkin’ location, where some customers struggled to recognize him. “Drive-Thru” concludes with a cameo from Affleck’s wife, Jennifer Lopez. It currently has over 6 million hits on YouTube, speaking to sustained online traction after the live Super Bowl broadcast.
With its second Affleck-led commercial, the fast-food chain is again leaning into the actor’s put-upon qualities while promoting its Dunkin’ Run deals that offer discounts on doughnuts, mini-bagels and sausage egg and cheeses purchased with medium or larger-sized coffees. The creative sees Dunkin’ staff mistake Affleck for Damon, and while the latter doesn’t appear in the video, he is involved in Artists Equity, the production shop behind the spot.
The timing of the rollout aligns with the April 5 release of “Air,” which Affleck directed and co-stars in with Damon. The movie, also made with Artists Equity, tells the story of Nike’s pursuit of NBA legend Michael Jordan as an athlete endorser.
Affleck’s love of Dunkin’ was well-documented for years by candid paparazzi photos that were enshrined in memes that lent the A-lister a relatable appeal. Dunkin’ formalizing the association could engage consumers that closely follow the celebrity’s career and are excited about projects like “Air.”
The partnership also speaks to how Hollywood A-listers are getting more directly involved in the marketing world. For a long time, movie star appearances in TV ads were seen as a sign of fading relevance or selling out. That’s changed in the era of influencer marketing and social media. Ryan Reynolds has made a strong impression through his Maximum Effort agency, which develops creative that tries to latch onto fast-moving cultural conversations. Reynolds frequently stars in the ads themselves.
In the new Dunkin’ spot, Affleck pokes fun at the idea of “doing commercials.”
“I don’t do commercials,” Affleck scoffs. “I’m a real actor. This is an art form for me.”
The Dunkin’ staff then clock him as an actor from “The Departed,” a movie starring Damon.
Dunkin’s recent wins follow a tumultuous period for its marketing strategy. The Inspire Brands-owned company has changed marketing chiefs and creative agencies several times in recent years, all during a volatile period of pandemic-driven transformation. In January, Adweek reported Dunkin’ was mulling naming Leo Burnett as its lead creative agency, clouding its future with Anomaly. Anomaly won the account in November 2021 but laid off staff early this year amid a significant reduction in work stemming from the Dunkin’ business.