Dunkin’ Donuts Launches First Creative Review in Almost Two Decades

Incumbent Hill Holliday was invited to defend the $150 million account

Hill Holliday has served as the Dunkin' Donuts' creative agency of record since 1998.

After two decades with IPG’s Hill Holliday, Dunkin’ Donuts is launching a creative review.

“As part of our journey to grow Dunkin’ Donuts into America’s most-loved, coffee-led, on-the-go brand, we are launching a review process for a creative services agency, under the direction of our new CMO, Tony Weisman,” a brand spokesperson told Adweek in a statement. “In today’s competitive landscape and constantly changing media environment, we need to ensure our marketing dollars are working as effectively and as efficiently as they possibly can. This review is part of that plan.”

Hill Holliday has served as the Dunkin’ Donuts’ creative agency of record since 1998. It also handles media buying and planning for the brand, which is not part of the review.

“We have a strong, longstanding relationship with our current creative agency, Hill Holliday, and they have been invited to participate in the review,” the brand spokesperson continued, adding that Dunkin’ Donuts was “deeply proud of our work with Hill Holliday to build the brand.”

“However, we have not conducted an agency review since we began our relationship with Hill Holliday nearly two decades ago, and feel the time is right to take a fresh look at our marketing needs to achieve our next phase of growth, and drive even greater business results for our franchisees,” they added.

It’s not immediately clear whether the incumbent accepted the brand’s offer to defend in the review. A spokesperson for Hill Holliday directed inquires back to the client.

As noted in the client statement, the review follows the September arrival of chief marketing officer Tony Weisman, who had served as DigitasLBi North America CEO. It’s not the only recent shakeup for the brand; in August, the company announced it’s considering shortening its name to Dunkin’ (as it appears in signage at a new Pasadena location) to further reinforce its positioning as a beverage-led brand.

Dunkin’ Donuts spent around $150 million on measured media in the U.S. last year, according to Kantar Media.

@ErikDOster erik.oster@adweek.com Erik Oster is an agencies reporter for Adweek.