Dunkin' Donuts offers free taxi rides in Turbo Hot coffee drive

Dunkin' Brands, parent company of Dunkin' Donuts, last week launched its new Turbo Hot drink, coffee with a shot of real espresso, with a two-day promotion in two key commuter markets: Boston and New York.

Dunkin' Brands, parent company of Dunkin' Donuts, last week launched its new Turbo Hot drink, coffee with a shot of real espresso, with a two-day promotion in two key commuter markets: Boston and New York.

The company is hoping to reach young, busy professionals and compete with other top coffee rivals, such as Starbucks, which last week held its own free coffee promotion, dubbed the National Coffee Break, and McDonald's, which recently unveiled a high-end coffee drink.

IDEA: Because the drink is a "pick-me up," the PR team decided to offer free rides around the two cities in pink cabs, said Susanne Norwitz, manager of global communications for Dunkin' Brands. Dominic Amenta, senior account supervisor at Regan Communications, noted that the company also wanted to convey a message of speed because commuters are often grabbing their cups of coffee as they rush from one location to another.

TOOLS: The company's two agencies on the ground, Regan in Boston and RF Binder in New York, pitched the local dailies and morning shows in each market. Commuters could receive free samples at select stores or at the taxi stands. Dunkin' Brands is also hoping to extend the reach of the campaign by selecting 10 taxi drivers in New York who have gone above and beyond the call of duty. The company partnered with the Taxi & Limousine Commission to select the 10 cabbies. Media outlets will have the opportunity to interview the winning drivers.

MEASUREMENT: The PR team is tracking the amount of coverage generated in each market. Amenta also noted that the company would be measuring foot traffic at the taxi stand locations. Sales from the promotion will also be tallied, Norwitz said.

Company: Dunkin' Donuts
Campaign: Launch of Turbo Hot
PR Team: In-house, Regan Communications, RF Binder
Other marketing: None
Launched: March 15, 2006
Budget: Undisclosed

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