New Dunkin Donuts Ad Campaign

NEW LOOK: A TV ad shows two men at a basketball game. The one with Dunkin’ iced coffee says, ‘This was made just for me.’

Donna Goodison of the Boston Herald writes that Dunkin’ Donuts hopes to convince energy drink consumers to get their daily jolts of caffeine from its iced java.

A new ad campaign suggests energy drink fans should “kick the can” and drink freshly brewed Dunkin’ iced coffee instead of “mass-produced” energy drinks.

The TV commercial depicts two young men watching a hoop game at a gym, one with a Dunkin’ iced coffee and the other with an energy drink in a thin can resembling that of market leader Red Bull. The iced coffee drinker lifts up his cup and says, “This was made just for me.”

Created by Boston’s Hill Holliday, the commercial marks the first time that Canton-based Dunkin’ has targeted the growing energy drink market in its continued effort to promote iced coffee as a year-round beverage, according to Scott Hudler, vice president of brand marketing.

“(Iced coffee is) a great way to start your day and has a lot of the same qualities that an energy drink has, and it’s a lower price,” he said.

Dunkin’ appears to be seizing on consumers’ desire for energy boosts, using what’s in effect one of the original energy drinks, according to Gary Hemphill, managing director of Beverage Marketing Corp., a New York data and consulting firm.

“Coffee hasn’t been called an energy drink, but in reality that’s what it is for a lot of consumers, particularly the first thing in the morning,” Hemphill said.

And there are a lot of dollars for Dunkin’ to grab from the energy drink market, wholesale sales for which hit $4.2 billion in 2008. Red Bull dominates the industry with an estimated 41 percent market share.

“It’s a fairly significant category in terms of its size, and we still think there’s potential growth to come,” Hemphill said.

“It’s the one area in the beverage industry where functionality has really arrived. Companies have realized that consumers will buy beverages for reasons other than simple liquid refreshment. In this case, it’s a functional benefit of energy.”

Boston Herald