Dunkin’ Donuts wants to give you your coffee and make you happy, and not aggressively push a political agenda on you like rival Starbucks, an executive from Dunkin’ Donuts reportedly said on Monday at an annual meeting of trademark law professors in Boston.
“We are not [S]tarbucks, we aren’t political — we aren’t gonna put stuff on our cups to start conversations,” said Dunkin’ Donuts executive Drayton Martin, according to law professor Alexandra J. Roberts.
"We don’t want to engage you in political conversation, we want to get you in and out of our store in seconds. It’s donuts and ice cream — just be happy,” added Martin.
Roberts clarified that Martin made the remark at an academic lunch for trademark professors at the Boston-based gathering.
According to The Drum, Dunkin’ Donuts named Martin as the company’s vice president of brand stewardship in May of last year. Martin is “tasked with leading the development and implementation of Dunkin’ Donuts’ brand messaging across channels including advertising, packaging, in-store and digital,” the outlet reported. “She’ll also oversee the company’s internal brand marketing team and external creative agency partners.”
Starbucks, a leading Dunkin' Donuts rival, has taken a completely different company-wide approach with repsect to politics. As outlined at The Motley Fool, the coffee chain has a history of political controversies under their belt — mostly pitting themselves against conservatives.
For example, former Executive Chairman Howard Schultz slammed President Donald Trump's so-called "Muslim" travel ban, declaring that the coffee chain “will neither stand by, nor stand silent, as the uncertainty around the new administration's actions grows with each passing day.”
Schultz later pledged to hire 10,000 refugees within five years in response to Trump’s immigration policies. The move was met with criticism that the company was choosing foreigners over unemployed Americans.
Regarding guns, the chain asserted that their locations were “gun free zones” in 2013, “which resulted in gun-rights activists intentionally bringing firearms to stores during a ‘Bring Your Gun to Starbucks Day’ organized across social media,” The Motley Fool noted.
The company also took on race:
“In response to the Ferguson riots and deteriorating race relations in the U.S., Starbucks launched the ‘Race Together’ campaign in 2015. The awkwardly conceived campaign gave baristas an option to write 'Race Together' on the cups of customers of (presumably) another race to initiate conversations about race relations, but critics on both sides of the political aisle claimed that Starbucks was overstepping its bounds. Starbucks promoted the campaign with full-page ads in U.S. newspapers with the words 'Shall We Overcome?' and built its first store in Ferguson, which opened last April."
And who can forget Starbucks' increasingly Christmas-less Christmas cups: “In 2015, Starbucks launched a red cup for the holidays that eliminated all Christmas-themed ornaments and decorations. That move irritated some Christian groups, but Starbucks doubled down last year with a green cup which replaced all holiday and winter decorations with illustrations of groups of people as a ‘symbol of unity.’”
Schultz is considering a run at the White House as an independent candidate.