- Dunkin' will again release a holiday merchandise collection via its ShopDunkin.com website, per a press release. The collection, which includes a long-sleeve T-shirt, baseball hat, phone case and laptop protector that can be personalized, will be available on Nov. 17 at noon. Items offered exclusively to its DD Perks rewards members sold out on Nov. 12.
- The merchandise was previewed in its "Cheersin'" video spot, a 60-second ad edited to look like a combination of vertical videos that people share on social media. The spot features a remixed version of "Jingle Bells" that was developed with Squeak E. Clean Studios, the audio network said in an email to Marketing Dive.
- Dunkin' enlisted Ashley Iaconetti Haibon and Jared Haibon, who were engaged on season five of reality show "Bachelor in Paradise," to announce the launch of the branded merchandise on Instagram. They also had appeared in Dunkin's campaign last year for its first online pop-up store, where items sold out almost immediately, per Dunkin'.
Dunkin's holiday campaign is notable for its expanded lineup of merchandise, including customizable items that can be ordered online as the coronavirus pandemic dissuades many shoppers from visiting stores. The customization is a new twist on its merchandise offering, and another sign of how a wide variety of brands are personalizing products to strengthen ties with their most loyal customers. With its personalized merchandise, Dunkin' can also appeal to holiday shoppers that want to make gifts more meaningful amid the uncertainties of the pandemic, as Oreo did last week. Also offered are bedding, a Keurig brewer, scrunchies, tandem bike, apron and dog leash.
Dunkin's latest merchandise offering follows other efforts to products with its branding. The company last year collaborated with sportswear maker Saucony on a line of clothing to celebrate the Boston Marathon, expanding on a more limited offering of running shoes a year earlier. Dunkin' is among the companies that have created branded merchandise to appeal to Gen Z consumers, giving them a way to express their affinity for their favorite products and services. Burger chain McDonald's has used the merchandising strategy in several campaigns in recent years, while Bud Light, General Mills, KFC, Mucinex, Popeyes, 7-Eleven, Sprite and Taco Bell also have created branded clothing lines to attract younger consumers.
Similarly, Dunkin's "Cheersin'" commercial aims to appeal to Gen Z consumers who are most familiar with vertical videos on social media apps like TikTok. The remixed spot combines separate video shoots and digital effects in a horizontal format that's better suited for viewing on a TV or computer screen while maintaining a theme that's consistent with its social media videos. Earlier this year, Taco Bell shot a hero TV spot in the full-screen, vertical video format, replicating the look of TikTok on a smartphone screen.
Dunkin' is maintaining its marketing programs as holding company Inspire Brands prepares to close on its $11.3 billion acquisition of the bakery chain in the biggest deal for the restaurant industry this year. It's too early to tell how Inspire's ownership will affect Dunkin's marketing plans for next year.
The coffeehouse chain in July created a new C-suite role with the appointment of Philip Auerbach as chief digital and strategy officer to oversee a new team dedicated to digital marketing and media, consumer and business insights and the restaurant group's IT transformation. In February, Dunkin' Brands promoted Jill McVicar Nelson to VP of marketing strategy for Dunkin' U.S. as part of a larger streamlining of its marketing organization.
Dunkin' also has taken steps to improve results as fewer consumers commute to work, limiting demand for breakfast items. The company is in the process of closing 800 underperforming units from its system and grew its U.S. same-store sales by nearly 1% in Q3 2020 compared to a decline of 18.7% during Q2 2020.
Clarification: A previous version of this article left out information regarding Squeak E. Clean Studios' role in helping develop music for the Dunkin' campaign.