UTS Library

Dunkin' Donuts Launch Campaign


Dunkin' Donuts Queensland

PR Company: 

Spin Business Solutions

Award Category: 

Award Type: 

Call Number: 

2002 B 14



Executive Summary: 

Dunkin Donuts, a subsidiary of Allied Domecq, was to launch a commercial operation in Australia. Dunkin Donuts had awarded the Queensland license to The Gordon Group Australia Pty Ltd who would open the first stores in Brisbane, Queensland with the intention to grow the stores throughout Queensland over time. Brisbane was to be the first test market for Dunkin Donuts in which they would establish parameters and best locations for Dunkin Donuts in the Australian market. A Dunkin Donuts store had been opened in Australia over a decade ago and had been unsuccessful. Therefore Allied Domecq approached the market cautiously. Through the licensee, Spin Business Solutions was contracted to supply consultancy services for a total communications campaign for the launch and manage all marketing and public relations issues. Spin Business Solutions was appointed on 21 August, 2001 with the launch date already set to occur at the end of September, 2001 for four Dunkin Donuts stores. At the end of the campaign these objectives were successfully achieved with huge brand recognition.

Situation Analysis: 

Dunkin Donuts is a highly recognised world-wide brand but is best known to Australians via our movie screens. Although a Dunkin Donuts store had traded in Brisbane over 10 years ago (unsuccessfully) Australians in general had never enjoyed a Dunkin Donuts experience. Dunkin Donuts is far more than just a donut shop. For its Australian launch, licensee Robin Gordon, introduced a sandwich and bagel range that would also target the breakfast and lunch market. Dunkin Donuts Queensland planned to open four stores in September we therefore chose to launch the stores officially on September 22, 2001 the first day of school holidays. This project was challenging due to a relatively small budget for advertising support and the time frames within which we had to launch Dunkin Donuts was only four weeks. Dunkin Donuts had traded in Brisbane once before but unsuccessfully so a key concern was this being raised throughout the communications process. The four store locations for the initial launch included: Westfield Carindale Westfield Chermside Fortitude Valley Mall Grand Plaza Browns Plains


All of the research available to Spin Business Solutions at the start of the campaign related specifically to the USA and other foreign markets. This was a test case for Dunkin Donuts and included some totally new products which had never been marketed before. There was no research budget and only four weeks to launch. Therefore we had to use simple research tactics. A Spin Business Solutions representative visited each store and combined with feedback from the Dunkin Donuts management and staff built a key target audience. The stores traded prior to the launch and we were able to ascertain a customer profile from visiting stores and in-depth interviews with Dunkin Donuts management and staff.

Target Policies: 

  • Female
  • Two age brackets 13 17 and then mothers 30 - 45
  • Medium range income
  • Blue to white collar background
  • Good shopping centre mentality

Communication Strategy: 

Due to the complexity of the communications project a multi faceted approach was adopted. Included in the communications mix: 

  • Public Relations Strategy
  • Promotional
  • Direct Mail
  • Sales
  • Sponsorship

The Budget for the project for the first six months of operation (not including advertising) was $50,000. This was to cover all launch expenses and included printing, design and distribution methods. PUBLIC RELATIONS STRATEGY 1. Profiling CEO Robin Gordon. We would pitch the Robin Gordon, formidable businesswoman angle to publications. The pitches would be a mix of hard business angle for some ie. the due diligence process, the rollout plans, the fact at this point there will be no franchisees.. 2. Theyre Here! Dunkin Donuts opening in Australia to the media would be no big deal so we had to find a method in getting some profile on the brand. Easy add a media celebrity to the mix. Leverage that celebrity to gain much needed media attention. 3. Big Deal Its Just a Donut. Once the campaign was started it was going to be difficult to continue momentum so Spin Business Solutions started looking for new angles including property and business related stories about a new up and coming Australian business. PROMOTIONS Spin Business Solutions had to find a way to generate sales to fund the costly launch programme. 1. ANSWER - CELEBRITY ENDORSEMENT Big Brother One had just finished in Australia turning the housemates into mega stars. The most high profile of these contestants and most loved, especially in September 2001, was Sara Marie. She appealed to a broad audience was very popular with the key target audience. At that time she had not yet been over exposed. Spin Business Solutions strategy was to play on the star/celebrity appearances to attract large crowds to a launch. It was then fundamental to set the launch at a time we could grab the greatest interest. Queensland school holidays started on September 22, 2001 so we had a launch date and our opportunity to attract a massive audience would be improved.

The promotional options available through Sara Marie:

  • Grand Plaza and Westfield advertised both instore and through their own scheduled advertising to promote the Dunkin Donuts launch and the appearance of Sara Marie.
  • Billboard TV Campaigns.
  • Public Relations. We have a better chance of generating media about the opening with rather than without a celebrity.
  • Use her on centre stages at store locations with access to main areas for signage. Greater crowds bigger endorsement.
  • Better crowd for taste testing.
  • Give away promotional material as part of the hype.
  • Autographs only supplied on DD packaged items.
  • Negotiate with shopping malls to allow for specialised pre pack material to be sold in centre stage locations.
  • Use her on radio interviews day before (higher rating on Friday than Saturday morning).
  • Use for staff training session or meet/motivate staff.

The other major contributing factor for using Sara Marie was to fulfil Dunkin Donuts objective to generate sales from the launch. With Sara Marie Spin Business Solutions was able to harness her star power and turn it into sales and taste testing. The concept was simple. At all store appearance people wanting an autograph from Sara Marie would have to simply purchase a bag or box of donuts from the Dunkin Donuts store location and they would receive a signature. This has been a standard way of working autograph sessions for record companies for years but had never been tried with other products. Sara Marie would still sign other items and allow photos taken with her but you still had to purchase a Dunkin Donuts product. The products that people were required to purchase were value added products. People could simply purchase their box or bag, line up, have it signed and go back to the store to have their bag or box filled. They did not pay for an autograph, they paid for their donuts! 2. MEDIA PROMOTIONS B105 B105 at the time had the power to access our key target audience so we saw major benefits in incorporating them into our strategy. 

  • Spin Business Solutions approached and successfully negotiated with B105 to get major recognition rights to Friday Street Party during peak breakfast time on Friday 21 September. This would support the promotion of the launch and build on brand awareness.
  • Spin Business Solutions coordinated sponsorship of a Snack Attack Promotion for the week commencing 17 September, 2001. Promoted by B105 and awarded daily to various businesses throughout Brisbane was a lunch supplied by Dunkin Donuts. This was specifically designed to reinforce that Dunkin Donuts lunch type products.
  • Distribution of specialised launch promotional collateral through Black Thunders for two weeks prior to the launch. Cost effective distribution channel.
  • Appearance on air of our Dunkin Donuts celebrity to promote the launch.
  • Participant in a B105 Morning Crew Street Party to further taste testing opportunities and promote the launch of Dunkin Donuts
  • Live reads (60 second radio endorsement) and promotional pointers to from 17 September to 21 September, 2001. Cost = product only. 3. SPECIALISED PROMOTIONAL COLLATERAL One of the major problems identified in the Australian market was the understanding of the broad appeal and menu that Dunkin Donuts can in fact offer. The name suggests just Donuts and unfortunately as a new entrant the attraction to go to Dunkin Donuts for lunch or other meals was not there. Therefore we need to have some communication material that will support getting a broader message into the market plus promote our launch details. Spin Business Solutions concept was to develop a DL size card (APPENDIX ONE) would communicate the launch details but also support our communications objective of getting across that Dunkin Donuts was more than just a donut shop. In addition with the amount of distribution organised Spin Business Solutions designed a tear off coupon. With the concept of again generating market testing and sales. Even the coupons varied to carry key messages. For example special offers included: Buy 1 Muffin, Get 1 Original Coffee FREE this was specifically designed to educate the recipient that Dunkin Donuts was an alternative when thinking about morning tea or Buy any sandwich and receive a FREE Coke to promote the Dunkin Donuts lunch options. Spin Business Solutions had a limited budget so for maximum exposure we incorporated the following distribution methods: 1. B105 Black Thunders (throughout Brisbane but specific to the store regions) 2. Used Dunkin Donut staff to give out product and a flyer at the Fortitude Valley Rail Station to promote to promote the Valley launch. 3. Distribute material through all shopping centres. 4. Dunkin Donut stores 5. Australia Post Mail cost effective direct mail alternative in which we were able to send the DL to Valley businesses to promote the launch




Spin Business Solutions certainly gained Dunkin Donuts unbelievable exposure. Spin Business Solutions managed our marketing, public relations and sponsorship issues for Dunkin Donuts Queensland launch and we received amazing coverage and great results thanks to their efforts. Robin Gordon CEO, Dunkin Donuts Queensland The launch campaign successfully  

  • Gained national newspaper coverage.
  • Generated television media coverage.
  • Created a powerful synergy between Dunkin Donuts and a target audience popular celebrity.
  • Significant exposure was gained of each store location.
  • Several hundred people attending each store launch.
  • Sales of thousands of boxes of donuts.
  • Major corporate exposure.
  • Development of corporate profile for CEO.
  • Immediate and measurable increase in sales after the launch with momentum continuing into the months after.

The sheer size of coordinating the launch in itself was an achievement for Spin Business Solutions and attached in Appendix Two is a copy of the two-day running sheet. To evaluate the campaign we need to consider our initial objectives. DID WE BUILD AWARENESS OF STORE LOCATIONS? In all locations there were several hundred people. In Browns Plains and Carindale Dunkin Donuts ran out of Donuts even though additional product had been made specifically for the day and more product was rushed to each location (this occurred before Sara Marie had even got to each of these locations). After the launch each store reported a significant rise in sales compared to prior to the launch. Since the launch, Dunkin Donuts has continued to open stores and are currently moving into a franchise operation. They operate today still buoyant from that initial major launch campaign. DID THE LAUNCH CAMPAIGN DRIVE REVENUE TO FUND THE COSTLY STARTUP? We are not able to provide commercially sensitive sales figures but Dunkin Donuts did advise the revenue generated from the launch did in fact pay for the launch promotion as required by the objectives. DID THE CAMPAIGN GENERATE AWARENESS THAT DUNKIN DONUTS HAD A BROADER RANGE OF PRODUCTS IE. SANDWICH RANGE AND QUALITY COFFEE AND AN OPTION FOR BREAKFAST, MORNING AND AFTERNOON TEA AND LUNCH. Dunkin Donuts reported that sales in other products did increase in other products and has steadily increased as awareness continues to grow. The redemption on the coupons distributed as part of the campaign to promote the various meal times was approximately 5%. A good result. DID THE CAMPAIGN BUILD A CORPORATE PROFILE FOR CEO ROBIN GORDON AND DUNKIN DONUTS. Robin Gordon became one of the most well known business people in Brisbane and still is a highly recognised Queensland corporate identity. DID WE SUCCESSFULLY DEVELOP BRAND AWARENESS THROUGH THE MEDIA? The entry of Dunkin Donuts into the Australian marketplace received enormous media coverage. The coverage was designed to do several things create brand awareness, create a public face of Dunkin Donuts, create credibility of the Australian enterprise, provide a PR driver to get people into the stores to sample product. An analysis of this appears as an attachment (APPENDIX 3).