Dunkin' Donuts goes all in on mobile for Valentine's Day

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Dunkin' Donuts
Dunkin' Donuts is leveraging Valentine's Day with Instagram, an emoji keyboard and a Facebook Live concert to engage consumers on mobile. The campaign includes a contest inviting users to share their love stories.
Dunkin’ Donuts, which in recent years has been going toe-to-toe in mobile innovation with rival Starbucks, is using Valentine’s Day as an opportunity to flex a variety of new engagements, including an emoji keyboard and an Instagram promotion.

The coffee chain will also host a Facebook Live concert with acoustic pop group Us The Duo on February 13, performing their song “Stop Just Love.” Even for the generally mobile-happy brand, this is a full-court press; expect Dunkin’ Donuts to heavily push for brand interaction on mobile over the course of next week, and for the foreseeable future if any one of these offerings take off.

"We’re always looking for new ways to add value to our fans’ daily lives through content and tools, and the emoji keyboard felt like the perfect avenue to do just that," said Melanie Cohn, digital and social brand strategy at Dunkin' Donuts. "We've added this to the Dunkin’ app as a new feature for existing Dunkin’ fans, and another reason for people to download the app and explore Dunkin’ further.
"For us, it’s all about celebrating our brand loyalists where they are, and with messaging being such a powerful daily platform, we’re excited to enhance that chat experience even more for Dunkin’ fans everywhere."


Beginning today, fans of Dunkin’ Donuts can enter the #DunkinLoveContest by sharing how the coffee chain plays a part in their own personal love story on Instagram. One grand prize winner will receive a year’s worth of both coffee and donuts, as well as $2,500 that Dunkin’ suggests they can use towards “an extra sweet Valentine’s Day gift this year.”

Dunkin’s new emoji keyboard is now also available in the Dunkin’ application, allowing users to engage with the brand within their messaging platforms through the same process that emoji keyboards such as Kim Kardashian’s Kimoji app have become massively popular with younger mobile users.

Dunkin' Donuts Instagram
Dunkin's branded iMessage cards

The coffee chain is clearly gunning for the messaging space as it rolls out yet another branded effort that will work within the broken-open iMessage platform on iOS10. Users can access the iMessage Card Builder (also called Dunkin’ Stickers & Cards) to create a custom card, add a Dunkin’ Donuts Valentine's Day themed sticker and send to their Valentine all through iMessage. Other iMessage users can respond to the card and send back as well.

And Dunkin’ is also getting in on the latest brand fad on mobile, offering two branded Snapchat geofilters, one on the day before Valentine’s Day and one on the day after. The first will be put in place to celebrate the holiday itself, and the second exists to promote the emoji keyboard.

"We’re always striving to provide tools and utility to our fans that add to their experience versus interrupt it, and Snapchat Geofilters are a perfect example of this," Ms. Cohn said. "It gives our fans a way to make their content better, and in turn, gets them excited to use it.

"This choice-based content drives more impactful awareness since it's coming from a friend to a friend," she said. "That 1:1 sharing is where decisions and influence really happens.
"We think the everyday nature of Dunkin’ certainly lends to this – but Dunkin’ also has so much love and brand loyalty, so the geofilters give customers a fun way to express that."

Investing in mobile

If it feels as though there is another story about mobile developments at Dunkin’ Donuts every few weeks, it is because Dunkin’ has made it clear that its ambitions lie in converting sales via mobile in a variety of ways. Its heated competition with Starbucks notwithstanding, Dunkin’ Donuts has every reason to want to invest in mobile, especially considering that it markets itself as a brand for hardworking, on-the-go individuals who could benefit from advancements such as mobile ordering.

Dunkin' Donuts Valentines Heart
The coffee chain will be selling limited-edition donuts

Another on-brand mobile play is its testing of curbside pickup for app users, currently only available to loyalty members (see story).

Recently, a Dunkin’ executive called its freshly minted On-the-Go ordering feature “the company’s biggest operational innovation since implementing a drive-thru,” before outlining a few lessons that she — and Dunkin’ Donuts at large — learned in the years-long process of implementing the service (see story).

"Valentine’s Day — and week — is a busy time for us as a brand," Ms. Cohn said. "We want to continue to be a destination for the day through fresh and unique content that showcases our sweet treats.

"Additionally, the sweet-themed products and natural brand love lend itself so well to social content, which is why we decided to build a bigger program around it. Fans go nuts for our coffee and heart shaped donuts, plus the passion for our brand gives us credibility to really own the day."

- Rakin Azfar, MobileMarketer