Measuring the Cultural Fluency of Quick Service Restaurant Ads: Dunkin'

Collage Group conducts syndicated research streams ranking ads and brands on cultural fluency.

In this CultureRate:Ad study we had the opportunity to test a recent ad by Dunkin’ called “Welcome to Dunkin’” and released in September 2020. In this video, the national coffee chain reveals how their brand offers consumers a sense of normalcy—and happiness—amidst the pandemic. Dunkin’ conveys a comforting message to their customers: “Even when everything feels like it’s changing, there are some things that’ll always stay the same. We’ll keep making the coffee, and you keep running.”

The ad isn’t just cheerful and relatable, it’s also a hit with multicultural consumers. This was one of the highest-performing QSR ads of the set, ranking within the top two for each racial/ethnic consumer segment. Dunkin’s ad joins an elite group of ads that resonate with all four consumer segments – Hispanic, Black, Asian, and White – with an A-CFQ (Ad-Cultural Fluency Quotient) score of 75 or higher for each group.

It’s not often that we see this kind of balance among ad features. This indicates that all of the elements of the ad play into each other nicely, creating an appealing sense of harmony.  Achieving cohesion among ad elements is an important step in guarding against viewer confusion, an emotional response that can harm an ad’s performance.

Dunkin employee wearing face mask

Why does Dunkin's ad perform so well among multicultural consumers?

Dunkin’s “Welcome to Dunkin’” ad builds emotional resonance by leaning into COVID-themes, like showing employees in masks and customers enjoying their coffee by themselves in the car. But they keep it lighthearted by using upbeat music, bright colors, and happy gestures like smiling, dancing, waving, and high-fiving.

Dunkin''s COVID-themed ads preform well among Multicultural consumers

The ad’s playful tone resulted in high rates of positive emotions across segments, like happiness, excitement, and pride.

Dunkin' out performs  evoking happiness in their ads

CultureRate:Ad and CultureRate:Brand are major initiatives that provide a research solution to members’ mounting need for comprehensive, ongoing analysis of the cultural fluency of branding and advertising. If you’d like to explore how Collage Group can help your brand with competitive analysis, ad testing or brand testing, fill out the form below.

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