Krispy Kreme Ads Company Overview Research Paper

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Advertising for TITB is placed in high traffic, high consumer areas (subways, bus stops, etc.)


Why KK?

Taste, freshness, and thinking of the office?

KK looks better than competitors.


Something special as treat for oneself or office mates

Don't just purchase one.

Alleviates guilt and adds emotion to purchase


What do people think?

Encourages multiple purchases.

Allows for multiple opinions and feedback loop.

Critique and Recommendations

Krispy Kreme's advertising campaign of a combination of making it a dozen and thinking inside the box is in its early stages of roll out. However, in combination with the focus on low-cost social media and the play on two of the most successful advertising campaigns ever, one can rarely doubt that the new campaign will be successful. The two campaigns that are precursors to the TISB are Lays, Taco Bell and Apple Computer.

One of the most successful advertising campaigns ever has been a concept from Frito Lay. The concept is "No one can eat just one," and took a commodity product and branded it to sell at a premium price. The idea of "Betcha can't eat just one" began in the early 1960s and had various permutations that have permeated popular culture for over five decades. This idea has been branded in cartoons, clothing, movies, books, and is simply a staple of modern prose, even now used in addiction counseling materials (Frito-Lay Corp. - Bet You Can't Eat Just One!). For Krispy Kreme, the idea takes on a new meaning -- not only should you NOT eat one, there are people back at the office who need this product, and it is up to you to provide it to them.

Thinking Outside the Box is a phrase that asks one to think differently, to challenge conventions, and find new perspectives. For Apple computer, the idea of the Macintosh was to invent a new system that was graphically based that would change the way users worked. Thinking outside the box described not only the user, but the engineers and people who worked for Apple (Emerson). Taco bell used the phrase, "Think outside the bun," a play on thinking outside the box. Still, it encouraged diners to think differently. Now, Krispy Kreme is saying the opposite -- which resonates simply because consumers have been trained to hear "outside the box." This is effective marketing in that it takes a familiar phrase and twists it just a bit in order to glean more retention. Krispy Kreme is asking consumers to do two basic things: feel good about their purchase by choosing more variety and purchasing in multiples. In this, the campaign seems to be effective. It is humorous without being gaudy; it is tasteful without being elite or arrogant, and it is reproducible as a catch-phrase. The ads are effective on many levels.

Additionally, if we look at the total inclusionary message from the ad, we see it is multi-racial, multi-gender, multi-age, multi-education, and really one of the few campaigns that is more enveloping than exclusionary. There are really no covert messages being sent sexually, religiously, or even morally. There are, however, ideas focused more on the consumer nature and status of workers who want to impress. The ads are not glamorous; they show nothing but the product and a statement of intent. The tone and timbre of the coloration, voice, and overall quality of the ad is friendly, almost family-like in that the only views being promulgated in the ad are to think inside a box of great donuts to impress the office. The only potential group that might be offended by the ad are the obese or overweight -- it is not particularly sensitive to that profile. However, the ad does not really promote snacking oneself, but rather finding something new and different to take back to share. Finally, the ad is clearly multicultural and sends the overall message that we have heard for years: food = love.


Emerson, J. "Thinking Outside the Box and Apple Computer." 2007. December 2012. .

"Frito-Lay Corp. - Bet You Can't Eat Just One!" 2006. December 2012. .

MDG Marketing. "How Krispy Kreme is Embracing Hands-Off Approach." 2012. December 2012. .

Morrison, M. "Krispy Kreme's New CMO to Spend Less, Lean on Social Media." 2011. December 2012. .

The Drum - Modern Marketing and Media. "Krispy Kreme Unveils New Campaign." 2012. December 2012. .

Thorson, E. And M. Duffy. Advertising Age: The Principles of Advertising and Marketing Communications. Belmont, MA: Cenage, 2001.

Each ad uses a concept that implies taste, empathy for one's co-workers, a sense of being powerful, a reason to purchase, and a way to become the hero of the office. For instance:

Instead of the 12 step recovery program, Krispy Kreme tells us that there are 12 steps (a dozen donuts) to making the boss happy.

If one wants to make everyone at the office happy so that one can leave work early, bring a dozen donuts back.

Playing off the Star Wars "May the force be with you," by simply inserting "work" implies that the office will love you if your purchase a dozen donuts.

Who has not made a mistake at work -- Krispy Kreme has the answer -- bring donuts.

In each ad Krispy Kreme tells us in a RED sign to "Think inside the box" for what -- for the ultimate prize, a dozen donuts, shown alluringly in the box, ready to go.[continue]

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