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Dunkin’ Donuts heats up Cold Brew debut via Snapchat geofilters

Dunkin’ Donuts foreshadowed the rollout of its Cold Brew coffee this past weekend by enabling its Snapchat followers to be the first to unlock a series of themed geofilters now available in all stores, showcasing how brands can inject exclusivity into their social channels.

The beverage marketer teased Snapchat fans wanting a sneak peek at its newest brew by encouraging them to visit its Twitter page and locate a time-sensitive Snapcode, which they could scan to receive access to the Cold Brew-themed filters. Snapchat followers were able to interact with the geofilters for 24 hours prior to the new product launch, a perk that likely boosted brand loyalty as well as sales for Cold Brew coffees this week.

“I think that foreshadowing a new product launch on Snapchat absolutely drives sales,” said Tyler Carlson, vice president of sales at SiteZeus. “Snapchat’s very nature is to have fresh content that ‘disappears.’

“This gives a sort of mysterious element to the content and experience, which plays perfectly for a new product launch,” he said. “I think this holds especially true for the release of the Cold Brew, which directly competes with Starbucks, which released the same product quite a bit ago.”

Brewing up sales
This past weekend, Dunkin’ Donuts took to its Snapchat account to tease an upcoming product launch. Its followers were privy to a series of Snaps inviting them to visit the Dunkin’ Donuts Twitter page and find a specific Tweet containing a special Snapcode.

The Tweet said, “Want a sneak peek at our newest brew? Use this Snapcode to unlock our geofilter for 24 hours anywhere! Point camera and hold.”

Using the Snapchat app, consumers could take a photo of the Snapcode and press the “Unlock for 24 Hours” button that subsequently appeared.

Social media users could then adorn their selfies and other Snapchat photos with a custom filter featuring the phrase, “Gimme gimme cold brew!” as well as an image of a Dunkin’ Donuts iced beverage.

The chain also invited fans to Snap the filter back to the Dunkin’ Donuts Snapchat account for a chance to receive a special message in return.

By enabling loyal followers to be the first to use the new geofilters, Dunkin’ Donuts injected an aspect of exclusivity into its latest product rollout. Consumers who spotted their friends posting photos with the new filters may have been inspired to purchase a Cold Brew coffee at Dunkin’ Donuts this week.

Additionally, individuals who unlocked the filters before their nationwide rollout could have been among the first customers to purchase a Cold Brew beverage on Monday morning, thanks to their prior knowledge of its availability.

“[Snapchat] is where the attention is,” Mr. Carlson said. “One hundred and ten million daily active users, and it has grown 50 percent in the last year, from June 2016.

“It had 10 billion daily video views while Facebook had only eight billion video views per day in 2015’s third quarter. Even though today Facebook is ahead, Snapchat is a serious competitor in video content, especially short form.”

Dunkin’ Donuts has previously clued its social media fans in to new product launches by allowing them to receive the news first.

For example, the chain recently commemorated the national rollout of on-the-go ordering for its DD Perks loyalty members by dropping clues on its Snapchat account and creating a dedicated landing page for the new app, featuring a 360-degree video of the world’s fastest Dunkin’ run (see story).

“Foreshadowing products on Snapchat is a great way for brands to drive anticipation and demand for products before they are available for purchase,” said Chris Brown, vice president of product marketing at Snaps.

“There have been a number of brands that have teased new product lines or seasonal looks on Snapchat. This approach continues to strengthen the bonds that a brand has with its Snapchat followers.”

Adding garnish to social media
Dunkin’ Donuts followed up on its Snapchat strategy by promoting the availability of Cold Brew drinks – as well as their complementary geofilters – on its Instagram account.

One of the reasons for the brand’s prowess in social media marketing stems from its ability to distribute different types of content across each channel.

Rather than disperse identical material across its Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and Twitter accounts, the chain prefers to have each channel work in tandem with the others by displaying supplementary or entirely unique content.

Several weeks ago, Dunkin’ Donuts employed a fresh twist on its promotional strategy that saw the brand host live and interactive content across all of its social channels leading up to National Donut Day in June, showcasing how social strategies are getting bigger and more expansive (see story).

“The best way to build a relationship in social is to treat your followers as if they are your close friends,” Mr. Brown said. “Part of friendship is letting your friends in on your secrets or letting them see behind the corporate veil (in the case of a brand).

“Teasing new products also makes fans feel like they are in the know and that the brand is including them in a secret at a personal level.”