Last night during the Rihanna concert, a number of high-profile advertisements were shown. Of these, there were great ones (Will Ferrel in Bridgerton, m&m’s with clams) and lame ones (Will Ferrel in Stranger Things, the Tubi Bunny), and weird ones (Adam Driver saying website until it didn’t sound like a real word anymore). But there was only one with Bennifer. And it sucked…
…because I loved it. I was a simp for it. And in 2023, Bennifer does Dunkin’, is just the thin veneer of corporate-mandated nostalgia that we need to cope with another week in this post-apocalyptic, inconsistently simulated dystopia. But before I tell you why we’re currently living in a dystopian hellscape (at the time of this writing, the US/CAN continue to shoot down what I can only assume are wayward gender reveal balloons, according to The Betoota Advocate), I want to talk to you about Bennifer and why this commercial works so well.
BENNIFER: THE BEGINNING
She was from the block. He was Matt Damon’s slightly less successful friend. It was a match made in heaven. Their relationship was one for the ages until it wasn’t, and they both moved on — her to Marc Anthony and him to another Jennifer (that was her real name! Definitely not an…Alias).
Regardless, they went from America’s sweethearts to America’s sour skittles real fast. But they were relatable, and I appreciated that. Also, at this point, Ben Affleck had been publicly committed to two things: his on-screen Boston accent and Dunkin’ Donuts. Did Dunkin’ have an impact on the end of Bennifer? We can only speculate.
BENNIFER: THE MIDDLE PART
Nothing new on the Bennifer front, but in 2009 Ben Affleck goes on record with Collider about the need for an L.A.-based Dunkin’ location. Ten years later, in 2019, Ben Affleck, per The Takeout, again goes on the record: “I have Dunkin Donuts every day,” he tells Collider in an interview. “I feel like I’m spreading the word.”
Does JLO see this and begin to wonder “what if?” Again, pure speculation, though we can safely assume that Ben Affleck runs on at least 78% Dunkin’ by this point. What a Bos(tonian).
BENNIFER: YESTERDAY IS TODAY AGAIN; NOTHING MAKES SENSE…OR DOES IT?
The year is 2023, and the war in Ukraine and high-flying gender reveal balloons are running amok, bringing chaos and instability to the world economy. Who can bring balance to the planet while endorsing a cost-effective, non-Starbucks coffee brand during one of the biggest televised events of the next year? Ben Affleck. But he’s gonna need help. Enter JLO.
Were their reunion and subsequent marriage engineered by Big Dunkin’? I don’t know, but it was awesome. Here was a man who had high-profile struggles with substance abuse (disclaimer: not Dunkin’, never Dunkin’) and a woman who stopped aging in 2005 for health reasons but who definitely was still from the block.
WHY THE COMMERCIAL WORKS:
There are a number of Bennifer-related and non-Bennifer-related reasons why this commercial works. Here are 5 completely arbitrary ones below.
5 Reasons Bennifer & Dunkin’ are a match made in New England
- ½ of Bennifer is famously from Boston. Dunkin’ Donuts was founded roughly 1 hour and 7 minutes (by bicycle) outside of Boston, per Google Maps.
- Emergent trends and Gen-Z are obsessed with the early 2000s, per YPULSE.
- Boston is called Beantown, and coffee is made out of beans
- Ben Affleck has his hands in everything from directing, acting, seducing women named Jennifer, and assorted memes.
- Ben Affleck is Batman, and Dunkin’ was wise to jump aboard the Bennifer Bat-train as it left the station. Next stop: The Flash movie trailer that dropped the same night.
In Bat-conclusion, by casting Ben Affleck in their inaugural Super Bowl commercial, Dunkin’ Donuts shrewdly attached themselves to two extremely relevant, high-profile celebrities who continue to be in the headlines due to their professional and personal shenanigans while rewarding a long-celebrated, high-profile Bostonian in a way that had viewers cheering like Ben Affleck at a Red Sox game.
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