Dunkin' Donuts enlists AI bot, real-time video stickers for National Donut Day
- Dunkin’ Donuts is rolling out a digital-heavy campaign for this year’s National Donut Day on June 2. Along with receiving a free classic donut with the purchase of a drink, customers can engage with the brand through donut-themed content online, including downloadable sticker packs and emojis, as well as a sponsored Snapchat selfie lens and geofilter when users are in or near one of its 8,500 locations in the U.S., according to a press release by the company. It is the first brand to launch real-time video stickers on Kik.
- The Massachusetts-based franchise is enlisting Microsoft’s chatbot, Zo, powered by artificial intelligence (AI) for the campaign. Users can send the word “donut” to Zo on Facebook’s or Kik’s messaging platforms to find out which of Dunkin’s classic donuts bests fits the user’s personality.
- The company is also integrating real-time social media conversations about donut lovers’ favorite flavors onto the digital menu boards in select stores. The promotion has a presence on Tango and iMessage as well.
With the nature of grab-and-go style coffee or donut shops, Dunkin’ has a short window of time in the day to connect with its customers. But in the past few years, the global company that sells about 2.7 billion donuts a year has made noticeable efforts to shift toward a digitally focused strategy. Special features for today’s annual promotion are just the latest examples and show how the brand is leveraging digital content to create fun and entertaining engagements. For example, Snapchat users can turn themselves inot a donut with a special brand Lens. Exclusive to Android, Kik users can leverage real-time video stickers where Dunkin' fans can virtually 'eat' donuts mid-call or signal a stream of sprinkles to be 'fed' straight into their mouth.
These partnerships with Facebook, Kik and Snapchat leverage key influencers and social platforms and will likely boost visibility for the current campaign. Consumers may first learn about the donut deal while sending a text or photo via either popular messaging platform or Snapchat thereby driving store visits. Even if consumers don't enter a store today, they can connect with the brand via AI bot Zo and on social media.
In June 2016, the chain rolled out its on-the-go mobile ordering feature in a push to drive more customers to register for its online rewards program, where they can order, pay in advance on a smartphone and skip the line at pickup. And last month, Dunkin' Donuts partnered with DIY blogger Aww Sam to release a downloadable stencil design and coffee-related decoration inspiration for customers to decorate their graduation caps and repost them on Twitter and Instagram. Even the new digital menu boards the company is testing in select stores, which can display daily specials or quickly switch between hot or cold drinks depending on the weather, demonstrates shifting priorities toward digital to improve the customer experience and boost brand relevance by anticipating trends in technology.
Follow Natalie Koltun on Twitter