Dunkin’s Super Bowl publicity debut came from his biggest celebrity fan, Ben Affleck.
Over the years, paparazzi have often pictured Affleck with Dunkin bags and iced coffees, but on Feb. 12, the Oscar-winning actor was featured on the other side of the drive-thru window. The donut and coffee chain’s first-ever national Super Bowl ad featured Affleck take command in a heavy Boston accent from unsuspecting customers while donning an “America Runs On Dunkin” t-shirt.
Fans knew something like this was brewing after photos of the Hollywood star filming at Dunkin’ in Medford, Massachusetts, alongside his singer-actress wife Jennifer Lopez, were shared on social media. Lopez made an appearance in the ad, asking Affleck, “What do you do? Is that what you do when you say you’re going to work all day?”
But the plan wasn’t always to air this during the National Football League’s mega publicity event that draws hundreds of millions of eyeballs. The coffee and donut chain originally presented the ad as a scripted ad, with the actor visiting its corporate boardroom. Instead, Affleck offered to go undercover as a staff member at a Boston-area Dunkin’ for a day, the company’s chief marketing officer, Jill McVicar Nelson told the Wall Street Journal. It was only after seeing the results of the hidden camera experiment that the company decided to purchase a place in the game.
Affleck had turned down several requests to star in a Dunkin’ campaign but ultimately agreed for a business reason: to put his new production company, Artists Equity, to work.
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A Brief History of Artist Equity
Affleck, actor Matt Damon and Gerry Cardinale, founder and managing partner of investment firm RedBird Capital Partners, launched Artists Equity in late 2022. Affleck is CEO and Damon is chief content officer.
The studio’s talent-driven business model involves sharing a portion of the profits from each project with the performers and other creative talent involved. This will apply to the Dunkin’ project, Affleck told the Wall Street Journal.
The first feature film from the production house Air about the birth of Nike’s Air Jordan sneakers, written and directed by Affleck and starring Damon, is slated for release later this year. The company has more films in the works and aims to produce at least five projects annually. After Dunkin’, he also plans to get into more television and commercial work, Affleck told the WSJ.
Watch: The Ben Affleck Dunkin Superbowl ad
Quote: Ben Affleck’s love affair with Dunkin’
“It’s amazing! I eat Dunkin’ Donuts every day. It’s very weird, I have them every day and people always tell me ‘Where is it? Is it near here? So , I feel like I’m spreading the word. -Ben Affleck in an interview with Collider in 2019
One More Thing: There’s More of Ben Affleck’s Dunkin’ Passage
The 30-second spot doesn’t fully cover the all-day work Affleck did at the Dunkin’ store. And there are some interesting interactions that didn’t make the cut.
“This is Boston, after all, so we had some pretty rude and rowdy people who were willing to colorfully express their displeasure, and I’m always pushing to include the most interesting of them in some of the more social venues. pissed off,” Affleck says WSJ.
Already, scenes that were not in Super Bowl advertising begins arrive on the company’s social media profiles. Dunkin’ will also air a scripted ad shot in the store in the coming weeks, a company spokesperson told the WSJ.
Big Number: The Cost of a 30-Second Super Bowl Commercial
$6-7 million: How much Fox would have charged for a 30 second spot.
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