Dunkin’ flexes advertising muscle in 1st national recruitment campaign

Linda J. Dodson

Dive Brief:

  • Dunkin’ announced a new cross-channel campaign to promote 25,000 job openings at locations across the country, according to details the company shared with Marketing Dive.
  • The “Dunkin’ Runs on You” effort is the brand’s first national ad campaign focused on recruitment. Developed with BBDO New York, the campaign highlights on-the-job skill development, professional growth opportunities and flexible schedules afforded to employees in both English and Spanish. It includes TV spots, digital assets that can be customized for individual franchise needs, as well as social, radio, out-of-home and in-store signage.
  • Dunkin’ also partnered with Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU) to offer online college education and business skills training to franchise employees. The campaign will promote the new benefit as a way to help independent franchisees hire and retain employees in front-counter and restaurant management roles.

Dive Insight:

Dunkin’ is using its consumer-facing advertising muscle to recruit workers at a time when the country faces high levels of unemployment due to the coronavirus pandemic. This is the first time the brand has marketed jobs directly to consumers with a national campaign, pointing to why the campaign, titled “Dunkin’ Runs on You,” cleverly plays on the chain’s long-running “America Runs on Dunkin'” tagline. The effort supports the ability of the chain’s franchises to staff up as lockdowns start to ease, reflecting how independent and small business owners have been among the hardest hit by the economy shutting down during the health crisis. 

The recruitment effort launches as the country begins to reopen and while many people are still out of work. The coronavirus pandemic has left around 13.3% of Americans out of work. The Coronavirus Aid, Response and Economic Security (CARES) Act — which helped expand unemployment insurance during the shutdown — is set to expire in July, leaving many people that remain out of work wondering where their next check will come from. Dunkin’ is now offering an opportunity for some folks to find work among a range of roles. By designing a consumer-facing ad campaign like this, the chain will reach people throughout their daily lives, potentially increasing the volume of job applicants.

Launching the campaign in early June appears to be a strategic move. Summer typically sparks fast food hiring as college students and teenagers seek ways to earn money at a time of year when people spend more time on-the-go and socializing. How enduring concerns around the health crisis will impact fast food sales over the next few months remains to be seen. However, Dunkin’ is not just looking for summer help. The campaign is targeting a range of people from all experience levels and plays up the job in a more professional manner than is typically associated with fast food, by promoting flexible hours, online education and career development opportunities.

With the economy having entered a recession in February, fast food chains like Dunkin’ may be hit as fewer people are out spending money. By hiring 25,000 people, the brand has an opportunity to help boost the economy by supporting its franchisees and giving consumers a way to put money in their pockets to spend.

This campaign arrives as the chain pursues a more integrated approach to marketing. In February, Dunkin’ Brands promoted Jill McVicar Nelson promoted to VP of marketing strategy for Dunkin’ U.S. as part of the broader realignment of its marketing business.

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