Dunkin' Donuts 50th Anniversary Song Contest
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Holmes Report

Dunkin' Donuts 50th Anniversary Song Contest

BSMG helped the New York-area Dunkin’ Donuts shops celebrate the brand’s 50th Anniversary with fun, frenzy and, of course, a little song and dance.

Paul Holmes


BSMG helped the New York-area Dunkin’ Donuts shops celebrate the brand’s 50th Anniversary with fun, frenzy and, of course, a little song and dance.   The Agency engaged the consumer, coordinating an original song contest with a New York flavor – partners included the city’s top hit radio station and the New York Mets.   The program surpassed its goals, creating a flurry of interest locally and generating coverage throughout the nation of the winner passionately performing his song celebrating Dunkin’ Donuts milestone year.


In 2000, Dunkin’ Donuts, a true American icon, was celebrating its 50th Anniversary.  But with all of the “New Millennium” clutter and the constant stream of corporate milestone stories, Dunkin’ Donuts was looking for a New York-centric idea with national appeal that could capture the hearts and mouths of consumers.


Generate awareness of – and excitement around – Dunkin’ Donuts 50th Anniversary among consumers in the New York metro market and beyond.


  • Celebrate the unique flavor of Dunkin’ Donuts.
  • Mobilize consumers to raise the volume on news and noise around Dunkin’ Donuts’ 50th Anniversary.
  • Link Dunkin’ Donuts with a compelling local icon.  
  • Enlist the support of a strategic media partner.


The Dunkin’ Donuts 50th Anniversary Contest: How do you take a song contest from ordinary to extraordinary … how do you make it a real hit?  Simple, make the grand prize a home run.  Or, just give the winners a chance to make their childhood dreams come true … get them to Home Plate at Shea Stadium.  (And, of course, for the grand prize winner, throw in a trip to a tropical island to boot.)  

The Competition: What did our aspiring songsters have to do to win this major league prize?  They just had to croon about coffee.  Write awesome odes to Omwiches.  Make magical melodies about Munchkins.  And record it all on tape.    

Aggressive media outreach, spots on Z100 (New York’s top music station), in-shop posters and flyers distributed at key area events helped create contest hype and encourage entries.  

The Playoffs: The five sweetest tunes were selected by the Dunkin’ Donuts judging panel, but the hard work was left to the folks who know music best – the listeners of Z100.  Media outreach and Z100 DJs encouraged more than 1000 music lovers to log on to z100.com, listen to the complete works of all the contenders and cast their votes.  

Making the Big Day really BIG: The three highest scoring songwriters were invited to deliver command performances during a tailgate party at Dunkin’ Donuts 50th Anniversary celebration at Shea Stadium, where the Grand Prize Winner was announced.    

While the song contest was a focal point of the day’s festivities, the entire stadium screamed Dunkin’ Donuts.

First, Dunkin’ Donuts own coffee super-hero, Dunkin’ Donuts Rocket Man was on-hand to help MC the contest and to accompany the finalists to a ceremony in their honor at Home Plate.  He also encouraged folks throughout the region to come on out and join the fun as a co-star (along with Mr. Met) in a promo spot for the day … a spot that was highlighted on the Spectravision during the game.  While Dunkin’ Donuts Rocket Man was a major hit in helping to perk-up the crowds during the seventh-inning stretch, that didn’t compare to the excitement he caused when he strutted out to the mound to throw out the ceremonial first pitch of the game.

BSMG caught all of the excitement – as well as footage of the contestants “warming-up” – on tape and edited and transmitted a b-roll package on-site.


The crowds – and the country – went wild.  The media couldn’t get enough of the toe-tapping tune of the winner and the sight of Dunkin’ Donuts’ pink-and-orange clad super-hero along his side.  With exposure on more than 100 stations from LA to Boston, BSMG Worldwide went beyond saturating the local market to blanketing the country with the news of Dunkin’ Donuts 50th Anniversary and the passionate fans that were singing its praises.
All tolled, through aggressive promotion and grand slam media coverage, BSMG generated more than 150 million consumer impressions in a two-month time period with the Dunkin’ Donuts 50th Anniversary Celebration Song Contest.

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