Dunkin Gets Both Sides of the Meatless Debate Talking

Dunkin Donuts is continuing a very successful transition from “Donut Store” to “All Day Breakfast Stop,” with its latest digital PR campaign. By now, most people have heard that “America Runs on Dunkin,” the slogan that successfully kicked off the company’s rebranding campaign that would, slowly but eventually, excise the “Donuts” from their nationally-recognized brand.

The latest gambit from the brand is something that is custom-fit for an online audience, especially on social media: Bags of Bacon.

Yes, Dunkin is making a meme punchline a reality. Fans of what many call “meat candy” or “the ultimate breakfast snack” can now go into their nearby Dunkin and buy a big bag of bacon, and they can get it any time of day. In fact, according to one recent – and very popular – social media post, “Here at Dunkin’, we’ve been working hard to formulate the perfect afternoon pick-me-up, and really, what’s better than a bag full of bacon?”

That particular rhetorical question resonated, getting millions to consider bacon as their best way to combat the mid-afternoon snack attack. They seemed to like Dunkin’s answer: “Snackin’ Bacon.”

The timing for this new product is another stroke of effective digital PR. Recently, it’s been all the rage online for big name fast food brands to promote their meatless or vegetarian products. If it is plant-based and on the menu, brands – even brands like Burger King – are going all in. But not so Dunkin. Sure, they have some items for folks who don’t want to eat meat, but their current advertising is all about attracting carnivores.

Once potential customers are drawn in by the image and the headline, Dunkin’s message goes deep into details that have proven enticing for bacon lovers: their bacon has been “smoked with natural cherry wood, treated with brown sugar and black pepper…” The brand finishes up the message by definitely not underselling it: “Bacon is a phenomenon… eat it!”

As effective as this bright and emotive digital PR campaign has been, some critics have wondered if Dunkin’ is swimming too far against the stream. Remember, the trend is toward meatless offerings. For those inquisitive consumers, Dunkin’ offers the “two” of their new “one-two” punch: the Beyond Meat breakfast sandwich. Since hitting test markets last fall, Dunkin’ says the Beyond Meat sandwich is performing “beyond” its initial projections.

With these two offerings, Dunkin’ is grabbing the attention of both extremes of their potential customer base on social media, by combining “on the trend” product releases with counter-trend product releases designed to get both sides talking about each offering.

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