Ben Affleck runs on Dunkin. Why do we care so much?

The New England Patriots may not be making it to this year's Super Bowl, but Boston still had its moment when Duncan & Co. ran an ad starring part-time employee Ben Affleck. The film was shot in Medford, Massachusetts (population: 62,000; nine stores), and ends with Jennifer Lopez ordering a glazed donut at the drive-thru window, which I'm sure she does all the time. Affleck's passion for the Massachusetts-based chain has become a national obsession. but why?

Although the actor had been drinking DD for decades, the media didn't begin to focus on his loyalty to the brand until 2017, when he made constant appearances in the media: He sought treatment for alcohol addiction; he and Jennifer Garner jointly filed Divorced; he began dating Saturday Night Live producer Lindsay Shookus; and he was accused of inappropriate behavior by actress Hilary Burton and artist Annamarie Tendler (he apologized to Burton). I don't know what the paparazzi were hoping to capture, but they ended up filming 47 outings with Affleck carrying iced coffee.

The Batman star lives in Los Angeles (population: 3.8 million; 15 stores), and as he explained to Collider in 2019, "I eat Dunkin' Donuts every day. It's weird; I encounter it every day, People always ask, 'Where is that? So, I feel like I'm spreading the word.'

Indeed. People have a constantly updated gallery of Affleck/Dunkin', which features pun-filled titles like "Just Brew-ti-ful" and "Words can't express how much coffee means to him." In 2019, Vulture called him "the personal lord and savior of Dunkin' Donuts." The next year, Vulture devoted more than 2,000 words to investigating rumors that Dunkin' had Affleck's order on file (a company representative said it had not). In 2021, after Affleck was photographed balancing an iced coffee on his teeth while trying to carry a pile of packages, Vanity Fair asked, "Will the photo of Affleck drinking Dunkin' ever go out of style?" (No.)

However, perhaps the most iconic piece of Affleck's run on Dunkin' Canon is a photo that went viral in December 2020. Affleck, wearing a "Believe in Boston" T-shirt, grimaced and struggled to grab a few Dunkin shoes. 'Iced coffee and a box of munchkins. Many believe this photo epitomizes that terrible year. Don’t we all feel like Affleck almost dropped his coffee? For many, seeing the iconic pink and orange logo in his hand was like a security blanket during an incredibly chaotic time.

But why do we love celebrating Affleck’s Duncan fandom? Taylor Swift is a Starbucks regular; Mindy Kaling and Jennifer Lawrence are McDonald’s besties; Kim Kardashian and Kris Chrissy Teigen loves Taco Bell. Respectfully, no one cares. Growing up in Needham, Mass. (population: 31,000; three stores), I used to dress up as Affleck for Halloween while pouring coffee. Suffice it to say, I’ve thought a lot about this question and think it boils down to seven reasons.

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We love losers.

It's no coincidence that the actor's preference for coffee piqued our interest when he was going through a difficult time. (After all, this happened after he got a tattoo on his back.) Again, Dunkin' wins points for local charm, but it doesn't have the name recognition or prestige of a Starbucks. It feels great to root for Team Affleck-Dunkin.

His loyalty is genuine.

Yes, Affleck reportedly signed a "more than $10 million" deal with the breakfast brand earlier this year, but we know he won't sell himself out to represent a product he doesn't believe in. Over the years, he's given Dunkin' a golden Hollywood free shine.

The atmosphere in Boston is unparalleled.

Affleck was born in Berkeley, California, and grew up in Falmouth and Cambridge, Massachusetts. He's what Vox senior culture editor Meredith Haggerty calls an iconic symbol of Boston's camp. She defines it as "anything that has elements of white working-class identity...and typifies it to the point of parody. So Dunks, Pats, package stores, parking lots, the more somber/Irish elements of Catholic imagery, Really everything about Ireland, the trench's definitely something to do with wearing shorts in the winter and thinking anyone who likes California is stupid," Affleck once shut down on the set of Gone Girl. For four days, he was the embodiment of Boston training camp because he refused to put on a Yankees hat.

"Being a Bostonian just comes from the love of Dunkin' Donuts," Boston comedian Joe Fenti tells Bustle. "People see (him holding it) and say, 'Oh, yeah, that makes sense, it's really easy and understandable. That's what he's all about. It reinforces it even more' for every Bostonian Everybody likes the Dunkin' concept." Affleck is a local overachieving boy.

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The nostalgia is real.

I don't have a degree in neuroscience from Harvard, but even I can tell you that seeing Affleck drink Duncan will subconsciously remind you how much you love Good Will Hunting and The Departed .

You can channel Affleck.

Affleck's favorite large iced coffee costs $4.09. At the over-the-top Starbucks, the same drink costs nearly a dollar more, or $4.75. The vibe at Dunkin' is unpretentious—just about anyone can feel like a star in a day.

It facilitates our parasocial relationship with him.

The actor's choice of drink also made him look more approachable. In 2020, writer Allie Jones told Vulture: "I think Ben got more out of these photos than Dunkin's... They made him look normal (even though celebrities are never normal )." He's more than just an A-list star and more than the record-holder for being the youngest person to win the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay. (That was Good Will Hunting in 1997; he was 25.) No, he was just our friend Ben, who really, really liked iced coffee.

Dunkesans is real.

Is it a coincidence that Affleck, who has been drinking Dunkin' faithfully every day for years, suddenly finds his luck improving? Nineteen years after he and Lopez called off their wedding, they finally tied the knot in 2022. He reunites with the girl of his dreams. That year, he also launched a production company called Artists Equity with his old friend and collaborator Matt Damon, which had a bright future. I can't prove that Dunks was in any way responsible for any of this - and no one can prove that he wasn't .