Allied Domecq, Disguise


The much-beloved Fred the Baker character, who has represented Dunkin' Donuts in commercials since 1982, dons a dress to secretly find out what the grocery store competition is up to.

As Fred hastily throws on his wig, a shopper turns her daughter's head away. Fred, obviously in drag, covers his trademark mustache with a finger as he asks the grocery employees about their donuts--their eyes gape and jaws fall open in complete shock. A woman behind the counter even drops her loaf of bread in disbelief.

Of course, viewers are not shocked by Fred's behavior -- American culture has long allowed for straight men to dress as women, as long as they have an important goal.

This commercial was part of a campaign that won a Clio Award.

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User Comments
I didn't necessarily see anything wrong or offensive in this ad. Granted, I do agree it's discouraging to see the people in such shock and turning of heads, but I wonder if it's because they (like us) KNOW this is Fred the baker. So they are not suprised by the drag, but rather by WHO is IN the drag. He is on an agenda to check out the compition and what better way than to dress as a woman?? Strangely enough, he still looks like Fred the baker, regardless of the wig and dress, hahahaha. I think this ad pokes fun at how far Fred will go to make sure Dunkin' Donuts are the best, I don't see this as offensive to cross-dressers, but that's just me.

I loved this ad when it aired and I STILL make references to it in day-to-day life. I don't think that it is negative at all. His cross-dressing is not really what the clerks are reacting to, they are actually fairly kind. They are avoiding being angry or disgusted, they are merely confused. Is it a man or a woman with a BAD mustache problem? And I know of a female clerk in a Wal-Mart that has as much facial hair as this guy. If anything, it is offensive to women... when was the last time women wore that hairstyle... and those gloves??? I adore this one and I think that it is more neutral than anything.

Rich Neumar
I've always thought this ad was hysterical. It doesn't parody drag queens, it parodies fussy older women who worry about whether the donuts are fresh! He couldn't have gotten the same information if he went in as a man. The shock on the faces is a natural reaction, and the young clerk's gulped "Yes... Ma'am," as he tries to be respectful to whoever it is he's dealing with, is actually on the positive side, if you think about it! The fact that the donut guy drops the voice after he gets the info he wants just proves, it wasn't about the drag, it was about the old woman character. I never stopped to analyze this commercial before, only enjoyed it for what it was, but now that I think about it, I like it even more!

Dana Edgar
This is a light hearted ad that commands a fondness from those of us with a well rounded sense of humor, even if it was intended to be at our expense. Should we demonize Harvey Korman and Tim Conway now too? People, just sit back, relax and laugh. You'll feel better.

I don't see how this is a parody of drag queens or transgender people-even less so gay people...the element of this ad that makes it humourous is how rubbish his disguise is..

Nothing gay about it, just funny.

He looked better than some drag queens I have seen. How is this anti-gay? Are we going to get mad atBob Hope for dressing as Carmen Miranda and not looking overdone now? Give me a break.

Jonah Falcon
One of the best things about this commercial is that it's a direct reference to "Everything You Wanted To Know About Sex, But Were Afraid To Ask," in which he played a crossdresser who has to hide his mustache in the same way.

I don't think it's intended to be a representation of all bisexual people. It's just meant to be catchy and humorous. Anyone who would use this ad as a real world representation of what bisexual people are like have more problems than homophobia. They are just plain stupid. And I refuse to pander my sense of humor to idiots.

Jude Vecoli
I agree with the other visitors, this ad is neutral at worst, and the clerks clear effort to be polite in such and awkward situation rings positive to me also.

Actually until I came to your site and was informed that Fred the Baker (Dunkin' Donuts) was a negative gay ad it had never even entered my mind. I loved the commercial and still remember it vividly and get a laugh thinking about it and the reactions of the supermarket employees. Let me put it to you this way, I am as queer as can be and if I saw a guy walk into a place dressed that way and with a moustache I'd be hard pressed not to at least chortle a bit.

RJ Petrucci
There is nothing offensive in this ad - at all. It is a man in disguise... a bad disguise that does not hide his moustache. Fred is a goof... a classic character... and still rocks. By the way, just because a man puts on a female costume does not imply he is transgendered or a homosexual, as such it cannot be taken as an offense.

Andrea James
This is an all-time classic that still makes me laugh.

Jamie Murrie
An amusing/interesting site -- well done. For the record re the Dunkin Donuts ad being ' negative' It satirises drag queens, not gay men. Being gay does not equate with being a drag queen ( please no!). A parody of drag queen traits is healthy!! It's the least these misogynists deserve!

B. Kavlan
Though I can see how a particularly sensitive viewer could construe this as a negative treatment of Transgender issues, that seems to be a slight misreading of the situation. What is humorous in this case is that the man apparently believes his disguise to be adequate for him to pass as a woman, when it clearly is not. It isn't making fun of drag, it's making fun of bad drag.

William Hall
The ad was silly, harmless and funny. I'm gay and wasn't offended -- I had good laugh. If someone was offended by this, they either have no sensense of humor or look for things to be offended by. They should get a life.