These Dunkin’ Donuts Red Sox Promotional Signs Were, Uh, Not the Best Idea
Maybe I can place the blame on my occasional preference for formality, as I have always preferred using the “doughnut” spelling instead of the “donut” one. Quite aware of the power of effective branding, though, I will never knock the move by Dunkin’ Donuts to go for the colloquial version. However, I can question and critique the chain’s decision to mess with the “Do Damage” slogan that my beloved Boston Red Sox used on their march to the World Series title. As evidenced by social media feedback, I have company in scolding the soon-to-be-one-word business for creating promotional signs that, well, let's just have a look:
Dunkin' Marketing: Let's hand out signs at Fenway that say Do Damage but put NUT in the middle so it spells Donut Damage!
Every Fan At Fenway: Why Does That Say Do Nut Damage? pic.twitter.com/FZDUM1efM1
— Darren Rovell (@darrenrovell) October 25, 2018
If someone quickly takes in the visual means to root for the Red Sox, who enlist Dunkin’ Donuts as one of their sponsors, the declaration appears to be not only a solid attempt at wordplay but also an example of brand pride. However, because there is usually a “however” to many customization stories, if a person reads “nut” not as an addition to “Do” but as a single word—which you're naturally inclined to do based on the font size—well, then the message becomes a tad, dare we say, risqué and comedic.
— Jamila (@Krazy_Flower) October 25, 2018
In capturing their ninth World Series championship and fourth since 2004, the Beantown representatives did plenty of damage to opposing pitching staffs, tallying 108 regular season wins to earn placement on this distinguished list. From a marketing perspective, it made plenty of sense for Dunkin’ Donuts to want to intensify support for its fellow Massachusetts occupant, but, and forgive us for being the least bit childish, the way it went about it left us laughing.
What do you not understand about the New England love for nut damage Mike
— Ben Collins (@oneunderscore__) October 25, 2018
The uncomfortable anatomy element aside, how could reading the sign as two words have been that much of an improvement? What would anyone gain from “Donut Damage” reaching the masses anyway? Thanks to the five-game triumph that the Red Sox engineered over the Los Angeles Dodgers—with the clincher coming on the road, the Boston-based victors kept their hometown fans from having to receive the ridiculous signs as part of a Game 6 or a winner-take-all Game 7. Fortunately, if there is fortune to be found in this matter, said supporters can set their minds only to celebrating at tomorrow’s parade and Dunkin’ Donuts can be grateful that nobody will judge its marketing ties to the Red Sox for the foreseeable future or until they come up with another mantra that the sponsor can be ballsy enough to modify.