Dunkin’ Donuts Gets it Wrong with New Twitter Campaign

I saw a press release today from Dunkin' Donuts that made me pause. Get this. Their new Twitter campaign is all about how to EAT HEALTHY and keep your New Year's Resolution to lose weight. By going to Dunkin Donuts.

How clever marketing agency!

Sorry, anything with the word donuts in its name isn't where I'm going to get healthy food, no matter how low calorie your other items might be.

For one week they are asking people to tweet weight loss tips using the hashtag #DDSMART. They are promoting their “better-for-you” menu (which is way too healthy to be a mid-level calorie choice). One winner per day gets a $50 gift card. And yes, if you are actually on a diet going into a doughnut shop to spend that $50 might not be that smart. Or are you going to pass up your favorite glazed with sprinkles for an egg white sandwich on multigrain bread? And the rest of the menu, well, it's a landmine! You're in the war zone, so don't even tell me you're going to eat healthy.

Here's how your tweets will be judged (from their contest rules): A) 40% – Overall Appeal; B) 30% – Adherence To The Theme; and C) 30% – Originality/Creativity.

They got it all wrong. Well, not all wrong. They are capitalizing on a trend with a social media campaign (this would be perfect for my book). That's good. People are coming out of the holiday fog/binge and want to lose weight. They are onto something there. But here's what their Twitter campaign should've been.

Everyone makes and breaks New Year's resolutions right now. Almost everyone decides to go on a diet. Almost half of us have fallen off the wagon within 6 months.

“Within the first week 25% of people break their resolutions. After half of the year, only 46% of people are still keeping their promises.”

People on diets dream of things like donuts all day until they go crazy and eat one. So why not help them out a little by suggesting they break their resolution with you? Or, if you're like me and a lot of other people you have a cheat day (another trend, diets that have cheat days) that you dream of all week long.

Why not have people tweet what they plan to eat on their cheat day? And, oh, btw, if you want healthy, we have you covered. They can make some suggestions off their healthy menu item but focus on the large percentage of people who break their diets.

That's how I'd do it. I don't think I'm the only one either:

I'm very tempted to tweet snarky suggestions such as: Park as far away from the front door as possible then sprint to the front door. That way if you die of a heart attack, at least you can get a donut on your way out. But I'm too nice for that.

What can you learn from this? Capitalize on large trends like New Year's resolutions in your social media campaigns. But don't confuse customers with competing messages. Stick to something that will reinforce your brand image. Because donuts and diets just don't go well together.

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