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Dunkin’ Donuts’ mobile instant-win game spices up pumpkin-flavored product sales

To celebrate the rollout of a slate of new fall-themed menu items, fast feeder Dunkin’ Donuts is launching a new scratch-and-win mobile game called Savor the Flavor.

The chain’s fall lineup includes the apple croissant donut, a Belgian waffle breakfast sandwich, and the ever-popular pumpkin-spice flavored everything. But pumpkin spice lattes is not the only way Dunkin’ Donuts is competing with Starbucks this fall – both have now introduced instant-win mobile campaigns to entice customers into their stores.

“Scratch-to-wins are not new,” said Jeff Hasen, Kirkland, Wash.-based cofounder of Gotta Mobilize and author of “The Art of Mobile Persuasion.” “But enabling that on a mobile device is wise, given where one’s attention is these days.

“Gamification gives brands the ability to get the user’s interest and often to provide instant gratification and rewards.”

Play to win
The focus of Dunkin’ Donuts’ Savor the Flavor campaign is the new Belgian waffle breakfast sandwich.

The game, which can be played on a desktop or mobile, lets users scratch off a virtual waffle sandwich for the chance to win an mobile gift card up to $10.

Two winners, selected at random, will also receive a grand prize of a $500 gift card. Users can scratch every day for the duration of the contest and find out instantly if they won a regular prize, while the grand prize winners will be selected after the contest ends.

“We can create a long list of what has changed in the mobile era,” Mr. Hasen said. “But what has not is a consumer’s interest in getting free or discounted stuff.”

Dunkin’ Donuts’ traditional competitor, Starbucks, also introduced an instant-win contest earlier this month in the form of its Starbucks for Life campaign (see story).

Mobile-centered sweepstakes could be yet another battleground for dominance in the world of QSR, as brands jockey to bring attention to their changing menus.

Pumpkin wars
Fall is a busy time for coffee franchises such as Dunkin’ Donuts, when consumers flock to stores for a taste of all things pumpkin.

Last year, Forbes estimated that Starbucks made $100 million on pumpkin spice lattes alone that fall.

While pumpkins may be the weapons of choice for Dunkin’ Donuts and Starbucks, mobile is the battleground.

Both coffee chains have strong mobile presences and rely heavily on mobile rewards programs and promotions to keep engaged with their customers.

Dunkin’ Donuts previously used Snapchat to offer free geofilters to users as a promotion of its Cold Brew coffee (see story).

The chain also recently updated its mobile ordering capacity, something that Starbucks has also been active in doing (see story).

“Dunkin’ Donuts is as active as they come in mobile,” Mr. Hasen said. “This is just another example of the brand using mobile to connect and differentiate.”