Photo: Bill on Capitol Hill, Flickr
Joe the Plumber may not have been able to get John McCain to the White House, but can he sell can he sell a cup of coffee?
Ok, so we're not actually talking about Samuel Joseph Wurzelbacher, the real Joe the Plumber made famous by the 2008 presidential election. He doesn't appear in any of the ads that are part of the multimillion-dollar campaign just launched by Dunkin' Donuts. But plenty of his buddies seem to.
The Cola Wars petered out in the 1980s, but it looks like we're destined for a second decade of the Coffee Wars, with Starbucks, McDonald's and Dunkin' Donuts all vying to provide bleary-eyed Americans with their morning jolt of caffeine. From what we can read between the lines of Dunkin's press release on their latest ad blitz, the company appears to be sending a blatant message to Starbucks in particular: "You can have your East and West Coast yuppies, with their New York Times tucked under their arm and absently humming along to Kings of Leon while they wait for their chai soy lattes. We'll take the average Joe."
To wit, no fewer than three hardhat-wearing construction workers appear in one of the new commercials, along with a traffic cop. A couple firemen from Georgia, who were two of the 1,000 Dunkin' Donuts fans who showed up for an open casting call in November, appear in another ad.
The good, hardworking, populist ethos is reinforced by the campaign's tagline, which reminds us that Dunkin' Donuts has always been the sort of place to drop your pretentious-sounding elocution: "What're you drinkin'? I'm drinkin' Dunkin'." Who needs "g's" at the ends of words anyways?
No doubt Starbucks elitists have another tagline for this sort of campaign in mind: average joe for average Joes.