DUNKIN' BEATS STARBUCKS WITH NEW FRUIT DRINK

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Dunkin' Donuts turns up the heat on blended fruit drinks this week with a "Jaws"-theme TV spot promoting its Fruit Coolatta, a twist on its popular Coffee Coolatta.

It comes as upscale rival Starbucks Coffee Co. delays the introduction of its new blended juice and tea beverage called Tiazzi.

Dunkin' Donuts also has a Chai Tea beverage in the works, in the vein of Starbucks' Chai Tea Latte drink.

FIRST HILL HOLLIDAY WORK

The 30-second TV spot for Fruit Coolatta, along with a second :30 for Coffee Coolatta, is the first work for Dunkin' Donuts from Hill, Holliday, Connors, Cosmopulos, Boston, which won the estimated $45 million account in April.

A major new campaign for the brand is slated for the fall.

In the fruit-drink spot, beachgoers flee the water as if running away from a shark, though they actually are running toward Fruit Coolattas. "Come see what all the excitement's about," voice-over says. The spot for the coffee beverage shows construction workers ignoring two women but going wild over a burly colleague bearing Coolattas. Voice-over: "Nothing's more beautiful on a hot day."

The fruit-drink commercial will run in markets that have the beverage-a national rollout is slated for next summer-while the coffee-drink commercial will run in spot TV in markets systemwide, said VP-Marketing Edward Binder.

STARBUCKS IMPROVEMENTS

At Starbucks, Tiazzi was slated for national introduction late last month, but a spokesman said the product was put on hold because of last-minute suggestions to improve it.

"During final product samplings before the launch, some of our employees provided us [with] some good insights about the beverage that will ultimately improve Tiazzi," he said.

Tiazzi will be launch-ed this month, backed by print, radio and outdoor ads from BBDO West, Los Angeles.

Andrew Barish, a restaurant analyst with BancAmerica Robertson Stephens, said iced beverages are a "big and growing part of the summertime beverage business." He said Tiazzi stands to be a good product for Starbucks, though not as strong as Frappuccino.

"If done right, it will be a nice new product for them with plenty of opportunities for line extensions," he said.

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