Bolted-On Cause Marketing

On the left is an FSI page from Sunday April 5. The FSI (or Free-Standing Insert) is for Dunkin’ Donuts coffee in the grocery store, and the advertiser is Smuckers, which makes the coffee and licenses the Dunkin’ Donuts mark.

Opposite the coupon on the bottom left is a small blurb from Dunkin’ Donuts itself which promotes a cause marketing effort on April 21, 2009 that benefits Homes for our Troops. The 501 (c)(3) charity in Taunton, Mass. helps severely injured servicemen and women either build new homes or adapt existing homes for handicapped accessibility.

Homes for our Troops is a good and worthy cause

The trimmed size of the full FSI measures 10.75" x 6 7/8" (27 x 17.5cm), which is plenty for Smuckers’ purposes. But the 2.25" x 3 5/16" (5.7 x 8.5 cm) size of the Dunkin’ Donuts portion of the FSI is quite small. You can make out the black type that explains the campaign just fine, but reading the details in the reversed white type at the bottom is challenging.

So I’ve copied it for you here:

“For each small iced coffee you buy on Iced Coffee Day, 10% of the purchase price will go to the Dunkin Brands Community Foundation to support Homes for our Troops. Guaranteed minimum donation $100,000. Visit for more information. Valid all day. Price and participation may vary. Limited time offer. ©2009 DD IP Holder LLC. All rights reserved.”

Except for the legal information, that’s all pretty important language. It tells us what the donation is, that Dunkin’ is guaranteeing $100,000. We also learn that the money will be filtered through Dunkin’ Donuts’ foundation.

I don’t know how Smuckers and Dunkin’ Donuts corporate worked this out. Maybe their contract allows Dunkin’ Donuts corporate some amount of space in Smuckers’ FSIs. Maybe Dunkin’ Donuts asked for the space in the name of the greater good and Smuckers obliged by carving out that 2.25" x 3 5/16" (5.7 x 8.5 cm).

However it came about, it feels bolted on.

And it's clear that Smuckers would have gotten more glow from the reflected halo of a cause they don't actually support had they just given up 1/2" (1.3cm) more of vertical space.

Now, to be fair, this FSI is only a small piece of the sponsorship activation that Dunkin’ Donuts is doing to promote Iced Coffee Day.

The problem is, it’s too small a piece.

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