Living Marketing

Do It, Dunkin’

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Some adversarial-marketing opportunities are just too tasty to ignore. Are you listening, Dunkin’? Starbucks has presented its rival grand opportunity to tap into longstanding stereotypes about cops and donuts in a positive way. Hey, Dunkin’, put potential slogans into a dozen box and eat up the green-and-white logo demon by giving it a bigger boot-in-the-butt than it gave some of Arizona’s finest.

The Tempe Officer’s Association took to Twitter to explain the incident I allude to: “On Independence Day, six Tempe police officers stopped by the Starbucks at Scottsdale Road and McKellips for coffee. The officers paid for their drinks and stood together having a cup of coffee before their long 4th of July shift. They were approached by a barista, who knew one of the officers by name, because he is a regular at that location. The barista said that a customer ‘did not feel safe’ because of the police presence. The barista asked the officers to move out of the customer’s line of sight or to leave. Disappointed, the officers did in fact leave. This treatment of public safety workers could not be more disheartening”.

For sure!

Starbucks corporate has since apologized, but that shouldn’t matter to Dunkin’, nor be enough for jilted public servants on the nation’s most significant public holiday. Welcome the cops, by reaching out to them with slogans like “You make our patrons feel safer”. Show appreciation by offering police officers free donuts with coffee. Sponsor a “Bring a cop to Dunkin’ Day” for freebees like breakfast sandwiches—no purchase required (and, of course, there will be one or good tip for employees). Better still: Include firefighters and other first responders.

There are so many under-served public servants, Dunkin’ easily could create a truly meaningful marketing campaign that serves them. Hey, just sayin’.


I shot the Featured Image (warning: 22MB file) on March 26, 2019, using Fujifilm GFX 50R and Fujinon GF63mmF2.8 R WR lens. Vitals, aperture manually set: f/11, ISO 100, 1/80 sec, 63mm; 9:44 a.m. PDT. The new Dunkin’ hasn’t opened yet, but the Fourth-and-Washington, Hillcrest location—flanked by several hospitals—is ideal for sugar-rushing overworked doctors and other medical professionals or their diabetic patients.

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