Campaign Teardown

The Success of “The Charli”: How An Influencer Became The Face Of Dunkin

By Editorial Staff

TikTok sensation Charli D’Amelio, with now over 100 million TikTok followers, is one of the most influential teens in the world. Just over a year ago, Charli rose to fame posting short video clips onto the popular app TikTok where she danced to trends, made videos with her family, and posted clips featuring her Dunkin Donuts coffee order. Little did anyone know at the time, but these clips would soon help a teenager become the face of Dunkin Donuts and the namesake for The Charli. 

Want to learn more about Charli’s rise to internet fame? Check out her net worth breakdown here.


Dunkin Donuts X Charli DAmelio NeoReach Campaign Teardown


The Start of Something New

With D’Amelio’s rise to fame in early 2020, she was consistently seen with a Dunkin Donuts coffee in hand, seen in almost every video she posted.  Since she was so popular, she was giving Dunkin millions of free impressions, where the brand then decided to capitalize on this opportunity, officially extending Charli an invite into their brand ambassador program. In the past, the role of a Dunkin Brand Ambassador was all over the place with some people driving around Dunkin vans, others passing out coupons, and many others holding events promoting their products and creating hype around Dunkin as a brand. But with the rise of social media marketing, it is now quite easy for Dunkin to find influencers to post on social media to spread the word. 


♬ покажи насколько ты cac – дашк

The combination of Charli’s love for coffee and the massive influence that TikTok has on the world, made it a no-brainer for Dunkin Donuts to jump on this idea and hire Charli as a representative for their brand. In the past, Dunkin had a broad social media strategy where they would identify trends that are already happening and then use that to their advantage. 

Want to create viral TikTok campaigns like this? Check out our guide to TikTok marketing here.

Dunkin’s Crew Program

Dunkin’s crew program has also been very successful. Since they noticed that many existing employees were already posting about what goes on behind the scenes, they decided to hire them as social media ambassadors to release “exclusive campaigns” designed to drive sales. For example, Dunkin has realized that the TikTok audience enjoys videos where workers film themselves reviewing products, making food, and giving them inside information on the company. We have Milad from Subway, Dylan from Coldstone, and many more TikTok influencers who gained a following just from posting inside their restaurant.

Want to run your own viral TikTok campaign? Check out our guide to TikTok marketing here.

Dunkin decided to hop on the trend and hire crew members to post on their social media while working, Patrick Navarro being the first. Whenever you see workers on TikTok or other social media sites releasing pictures of their upcoming drinks, it seems as if they are leaking the new drinks, food, etc. when in reality, Dunkin wants them to do this. The release of their avocado toast, matcha drinks, and grilled cheese were driven by the pre-release of these products on social media, and many of the employees giving their honest opinions on them. With the impact that social media, specifically TikTok, has on sales, it was imperative that Charli D’Amelio was a part of their strategy. 


my @dunkin obsession…but make it merch!! coming tomorrow 3/30, 3pm est🧡 #ad

♬ original sound – charli d’amelio

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The Charli

Starting in early September of 2020, Charli had her first drink released named “the Charli”. This widely popular drink amongst the younger generation consisted of the following:

  • Cold-brew coffee
  • Whole milk
  • 3 pumps of caramel swirl

Not only was the Charli widely successful overall, but new demographics were also brought to Dunkin ultimately increasing their third-quarter sales. Young kids who idolize Charli, college kids wanting to hop on the trend, and even parents were eagerly awaiting the drop of the Charli to see what all the hype was about. It is crazy to think about the impact that social media has on consumers when influencers advertise a product nonstop. I even had to try this drink (someone who doesn’t like whole milk or caramel in their coffee), just because everyone was trying it. With the success of this drink, Dunkin did not stop there. They later introduced Charli x Dunkin merch that also soon sold out.

charlixdunkin merch

This creative strategy set by Dunkin seemed to be never-ending. Earlier in 2021, they also re-introduced a new Charli product named the Charli Cold Foam. This launch was more popular than the original Charli drink since you could get this cold foam on just about any drink. Dunkin has started perfecting their online presence and it has seemed to pay off. With the introduction of the original “the Charli” drink, third-quarter sales skyrocketed, there was a 57% increase in app downloads, and a 20% increase in cold brew sales. 

With the major increase in sales, brand awareness, and the connection between brand and consumer at an all-time high, what is in store for Charli x Dunkin is something that we can all look forward to in the future. Will there be a new drink in-store? What new merch will be released? Will any other member of the D’Amelio family join the brand ambassador program? For answers to these, we will have to wait to find out!

This article was written by Jake Steel

Want to work with top tier influencers like Charli? Get started with us today!

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