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Feature Video

Made in the USA

Marathon Runs on Dunkin and Logoed Hats

Dunkin' Donuts proved America really does run on Dunkin', as it served up coffee, comfort and cheer to runners and spectators at November's New York City Marathon. For the seventh year, Dunkin' served as an official, and highly visible, sponsor, setting up cheering hubs and "refuel" stations at Dunkin' Donut locations along the parade route.

Beginning at 1 a.m., Dunkin' started brewing 12,000 gallons of hot coffee in the Marathon's Start Village to energize the runners. In addition to the coffee, a key component of Dunkin's presence was the branded fleece beanies distributed to runners at the start of the race, a much prized and sought after souvenir of the Marathon. Some 17,000 runners received and wore the hats in the 26.2-mile race. The colors of the hat – pink and orange – left no doubt who the sponsoring brand was.

"This is the fifth year we've distributed our fleece hats at the ING New York City Marathon," says Cathy Chavenet, Dunkin' Brands senior field marketing manager, Metro New York. While the design has varied slightly over the years, the brand's signature colors never change.

Given November's chilly temperatures, the hats proved to be practical and stylish accessories.  "It's a wonderful takeaway for those attending the event, and you see people during the winter months wearing the hats all throughout the New York tri-state area," she says.

Dunkin' Donuts considers the coffee and hats it distributes to be a significant part of the Marathon. "Our presence at the starting line with the complimentary coffee for runners and volunteers, as well as the fleece hats, drives brand awareness among a key audience," she says.  The hats are exclusive to the New York City marathon and only available on race day.

Some race spectators were also able to receive free fleece caps to keep them warm on the sidelines at 14 Dunkin' "refuel" stations along the route, while supplies lasted. Team Dunkin, a running team consisting of several franchisees and employees, participated in the race for a seventh year. The team represented "everyday, hardworking people doing something extraordinary," Chavenet says.

Dunkin' also set up a station where tens of thousands of fans could create special signs to cheer on runners as they crossed into Manhattan. In addition, they partnered with the New York Mets to bring their brand mascots to this location to join in the festivities.  A long line of fans waited to have pictures taken with the mascots. It was a fun way to engage with guests as they created signs for family and friends. "I can't think of a more appropriate slogan for the New York City Marathon than 'America Runs on Dunkin'," says Chavenet. "Dunkin' coffee and baked goods keep our guests running every day, and the Marathon is the premier running event in the United States."

Eight Earthy Marketing Ideas

Earth Day is April 22, which begs the question: Do you have what’s needed to field an eco-friendly marketing effort?  Here are eight ideas to help you develop your company’s environmental awareness into an effective Earth Day marketing campaign.

  1. Plant a Message – Say "Come Grow With Us" to customers by labeling seeded promotional products to get your Earth Day message across. Choose from a wide variety of plantable products that can be mailed or hand-delivered, including seeded postcards that customers tear off and plant to grow colorful wildflowers. Calendars printed on seeded paper can be planted at the end of each month. A business card can be produced on full color seeded paper. All of these items have the capacity to display your message in vibrant hues, and once they’re planted, the colorful results linger on.

  2. Tee Off for Earth Day – At your next golf tournament, hand out biodegradable golf tees packaged with a customized wraparound imprint that can be illustrated to "tee-off" current sales campaigns or to introduce new products. The promotional tees are made from corn which biodegrades three times faster than wooden tees, and when the tees get left behind, they won't splinter and cause blade damage when chopped up by golf-course mowers.  If you’re playing around water, add another eco-dimension by offering biodegradable golf balls that can be left in place if they land in water hazards.

  3. Bag New Customers – Experts estimate that if used once a week, four or five reusable grocery bags can replace 520 plastic bags a year. Many reusable bags are biodegradable, including ones made from woven hemp which is also resistant to mold. Add your logo and a "Shop With Us" message before handing out these reusable promotional greenies at your trade show booth.

  4. Write-Up Sales – Biodegradable pens with vividly colored barrels and striking trim will add Earth Day excitement to sales calls.  Eco-conscious customers will be anxious to accept these promotional pens from your sales team when they find out they can toss them in the trash can with impunity once they’ve outlived their usefulness. They’ll biodegrade anywhere, and their carbon imprint is 22% lower than conventional pens.

  5. Keep It Healthy – Offer health-conscious customers a recycled mouse pad with an antimicrobial surface with a sublimated "Let’s Build A Healthy Relationship" Earth Day message.  This mouse pad will attract interest by using its antimicrobial properties to keep computer areas germ-free. Health organizations, medical facilities and doctors’ offices are just a few of the health-related customers who will appreciate your campaign efforts when accompanied by this promotional gift. 

  6. Dress-Up Retention – Develop an Earth Day customer retention program by awarding recycled promotional clothing to repeat customers. Add a "We Appreciate What You Do For Us" message that lets repeat customers know you’re rewarding them with eco-friendly clothing that’s produced with less fossil fuels, creating less waste and fewer carcinogens.

  7. Grow A Customer – Try something different with a beautiful desktop terrarium that’s guaranteed to garner prime space on your client’s desk. The terrarium provides a perfect home for plants that thrive in indirect light and grow with little effort.

  8. Light the Way – Let your sales team impress potential clients with a "We’ll Light The Way For You" Earth Day message by handing out eco-friendly light-crank LED flashlights that will keep your customers safe during power outages. For extra impact, choose promotional brands that include AM/FM radios, headphone outlets, emergency sirens and cellphone chargers.  
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