It’s time again to make doughnuts.
After focusing on waffle breakfast sandwiches and espresso-based coffee drinks, Dunkin’ Donuts is coming full circle with a new advertising campaign to remind people it also sells doughnuts.
Frances Allen, brand marketing officer, said the company has not embarked on a major campaign for doughnuts since 1997.
“We’ve been doing so much innovation that it really is timed to refocus back on our core,” Allen said.
Allen said the yearlong effort will include a $10 million promotional campaign featuring television, radio and Internet ads and a contest for customers to design their own doughnut.
The winning doughnut, to be sold in the chain’s roughly 8,000 stores nationwide, will be unveiled June 5.
Customers can start designing new flavors on the company’s Web site on Wednesday, when two other new doughnuts, including a Berries n’ Kreme filled doughnut, will appear on menus.
Dunkin’ Donuts, a subsidiary of Canton, Mass.-based Dunkin’ Brands Inc., operates shops in 34 states and 30 countries outside the U.S.
Doughnut sales account for about 12 percent of Dunkin’ Donuts revenue. Allen hopes the new push will boost that number, helped in part by the recession. The chain’s fluffy treats cost about 89 cents — a few cents more in certain markets — and the company figures any price less than $1 will appeal to thrifty consumers.
“Faced with daily disappointments and struggles, the doughnut is one of those affordable treats that can make someone’s day,” Allen said.
To give consumers an extra incentive to stop by, the chain is also offering doughnuts for 49 cents with the purchase of a medium or larger hot coffee starting Wednesday.