On September 21, Dunkin is executing a classic form of cause promotion with their Purple With A Purpose campaign.
To show their support for World Alzheimer’s Day on Tuesday, 1,100 Dunkin locations across Eastern Massachusetts and Southern New Hampshire will be offering Purple With A Purpose donuts.
And Dunkin is adding even more dough by contributing $10,000 from its foundation to the Alzheimer’s Association (AA).
This is a nice promotion for AA, and Dunkin is a generous community partner.
But for me this is a promotion of last resort–day old donuts if you will–and one reason why I don’t include cause promotion in my definition of cause marketing.
The reason is simple: there’s no money in it.
While I’ve heard that donut sales are only a fraction of Dunkin’s total revenues–coffee leads the pack–a percentage of sales program involving doughy treats for just a week or two at 1,100 Dunkin stores would raise a lot more than $10,000 and get more promotion if employees were engaged in the ask.
Another missed opportunity is with AA’s efforts–as stated on its homepage–to reach 1,500 Facebook likes by September 21st. Dunkin could have helped with a Facebook coupon for a free donut in exchange for a like on the AA Facebook page. That would have been a great promotion for Dunkin stores!
Purple With A Purpose is a good cause promotion. But it will be a flash in the pan compared to a transactional campaign that would raise lots of dough. It also comes up short compared to a campaign that has a connection with Facebook.
At least with Facebook you have the chance gain a friend that might stay longer than it takes for him or her to eat a donut.