I'll come right out and say it: I'm not a huge fan of Dunkin' Donuts' "America Runs on Dunkin'" campaign.
We know they're not being serious, and yet even joking about the fact that our country couldn't operate without their product just makes me feel queasy - kinda like I feel after eating two of their chocolate covered old fashions. It's just so self-absorbed. Which brings me to another point, and that's the implication that America couldn't operate, couldn't get anything done, without fried dough with sugar sprinkles and mass-produced coffee. I mean given how the human physiology reacts to these things the campaign kinda borders on the irrational.
Am I being too hard on Hill Holiday, the agency that created the campaign? Here's their take on the campaign:
The America that we’re talking about here are the everyday folks who get things done. They’re unpretentious, comfortable just being themselves, and like to order their coffee in small, medium or large, thank you very much. They’re busy people who use Dunkin’ to get fueled up for work or play. They don’t have time to linger, because they’ve got things to do. But they do like to have fun. This is their brand.
I get it. The anti-Starbucks. Not sure how they got to America runs on Dunkin from that though. It might be true that America needs its coffee and prefers it without a spoonful of pretense. However, it's quite a leap to say that the American people get their essential, daily fuel from from Dunkin Donuts and Dunkin Coffee. You know, given the food pyramid and all - and the fact that bear claws and large coffee doesn't appear anywhere on said pyramid. It's not a food group?
And aren't donuts like the opposite of fuel?
Look at their nutritional information (oxymoron) if you dare. Twenty grams of fat and 2,000 calories, in some cases, per donut. Not to mention the fact that the ingredients list, in ten point type, is probably bigger than the donut it's referring to and contains few words that the average American would know.
Look, I know it's easy to criticize and hard to create. I get that. But every now and then the creators and the clients and everyone else gets a little carried away with themselves. And I think it's got to be someone's job to point that out - for the good of the whole. They might say that the campaign has been wildly successful. Okay. If so, good for you. But that doesn't change the fact that it's been littering our landscape with bullshit for ten months now.