Connection #4: Get the Balance You Need

“America runs on Dunkin”- simple, yet very catchy. Carlyle Group is one of the world’s largest and most successful investment firms, and is responsible for this everlasting campaign they originated for Dunkin Donuts in 2005. Founded in 1987, they still stand as a well respected, global alternative asset manager. “More than 1,500 investors from seventy-four countries rely on Carlyle to achieve premium returns on their invested capital.

Their investors range from public and private pension funds to wealthy individuals and families to sovereign wealth funds, unions, and corporations” ( Carlyle’s main interest is in building brands, so it’s no surprise that they left their mark on Dunkin Donuts under their ownership- along with two other private equity giants- from December of 2005 through August 2012. So what’s their latest campaign? For all you nutritionists out there, it could possibly be staring you right in the face, or be sitting in your cabinets.

The nutritional energy bar, Balance, has just been “re-vamped” for the first time since it was acquired by NBTY, which is owned by the Carlyle Group. They came to an agreement to take over Balance this past November in hopes of creating a new, long running campaign such as the one they did for Dunkin Donuts. Balance’s new campaign reads: Have you found your Balance? Notice I put the B in bold and underlined it to signify the fact that it’s capital. It not only states the name of the nutritional bar in such a witty way, but capitalizing the B makes the brand name much more prominent.

NBTY and Carlyle’s interest in Balance Bar came from their desire to be an active part in the nutrition business. By taking on this new campaign and giving the brand name life again, they hope for it to enhance their portfolio. As far as other creative aspects for this campaign, NBTY handles them all internally. Stuart Elliott, writer for The New York Times, shared some insight on what else they’ll be incorporating into their campaign in a recent article: Balance Bar’s New Owner Starts a Brand Campaign. According to Elliott, the effort is extensive, including a commercial, magazine advertisements, coupon inserts in newspapers, content on the Balance Bar website, online banner ads, ads in stores, a public relations initiative, sampling programs and a presence in social media like Facebook and Twitter (Elliott). Even if NBTY and Carlyle were only doing a fraction of this extensive list, they would still be ahead of the game in comparison to the brand’s past. In 2012, only $91,000 was spent on marketing for Balance Bar, decreasing almost entirely to just $2,000 in the year 2010, and spent a surprising amount of nothing in the year 2008. Could NBTY and Carlyle really fail against those records?

Erin Lifeso, senior director of marketing for Balance Bar, has been working with the brand since early 2010. Lifeso describes numerous thinking strategies that went into the plan of developing the brand’s new campaign. She stated that before, they simply didn’t have the budget; without that, you can’t get people to taste it, love it, or remind them about that so they go buy it. With a budget of $5 million from now through September, they can do that. As far as the image, the seesaw symbolizes the “teeter-totter world” we all live in. Everyone has a hectic life with numerous tasks to do throughout the day; Balance Bar is intended “to keep you in balance” (Elliott). It’s a target idea that everyone can relate it, especially the target audience of consumers 25 to 54 years old.

Everything that NBTY and Carlyle are doing to better the brand’s name are examples of the research they conducted, the plan they made, and the evaluation of its effectiveness for the campaign. What stuck out to me the most was their focus on nutrition, since that’s what the brand is all about. All of the efforts made to promoting that were part of “preparing the proposal”. This method is described by Seitel in our class text, The Practice of Public Relations. Preparing the proposal is the second step to activating the public relations campaign that is broken down into many key points. I want to highlight the key messages: how do we want them to feel about us, what do we want to tell them, etc.  “Have you found your Balance”, does just that. If you try this bar, not only will you get the nutrition you need, but the balance to keep you going.

Elliot, Stuart. “Balance Bar’s New Owner Starts a Brand Campaign.” New York Times [New York, NY] 20 May 2013, n. pag. Web. 26 May. 2013. <;.

“Corporate Overview.” The Carlyle Group. N.p., n.d. Web. 26 May 2013. <;.

Seitel, Fraser. The Practice of Public Relations. 11th edition. New Jersey: Pearson Education, Inc., 2010. Print.


2 thoughts on “Connection #4: Get the Balance You Need

  1. When I think of dunkin donuts, I do not think of energy bars. However, this article has led me to believe that dunkin donuts is a little healthier then I had imagined. I have never had the pleasure of having a nutritional bar from dunkin donuts but the new slogan seems to by eye-catching. I like how dunkin donuts took an interest in the branding of this revised product and have taken lots of media measures to get the word out. They have always been good at branding the company and it looks like they will continue the success with this newly revised product.

  2. The Balance Bar campaign is separate from Dunkin Donuts. Unfortunately, Dunkin Donuts remains the same as you thought of them before this! Their relevance was that Caryle Group was so successful branding Dunkin Donuts, that they are doing the same for Balance Bar. However, it would be interesting to see Dunkin Donuts take a healthy turn!!

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