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Shark takes a bite out of life-preserver donut.

Photo uploaded by Maribel Morales-Bosquet to Facebook.com/dunkin features the special edition “Shark Bite” donut

Dunkin’ Donuts has cast its net for a social media haul, launching the “Take a Bite, Take a Pic” campaign in conjunction with The Discovery Channel’s Shark Week. So far, the results are coming as quick as they can reel ’em in, with people posting photos of themselves taking a bite out of their favorite breakfast item to Twitter or Instagram using the hashtag #DDSharkWeek.

“Both Shark Week and Dunkin’ have highly engaged, passionate online communities, which has been clear with the volume and quality of entries submitted to the Take A Bite, Take A Pic social media promotion,” Dunkin’ Brands VP Global Consumer Engagement Scott Hudler said. “Fans are not only taking a bite into their favorite breakfast food, but many are doing so in Shark costumes, Shark inspired face paint, and more. This level of enthusiasm really takes the contest to a new level. We’re thrilled with the response to our Shark Week efforts.”

Participants are eligible to win prizes including a $100 Dunkin’ Donuts Card and a Shark Week Prize Pack. The promotion began July 29 in anticipation of Discovery Channel’s August 10 debut of Shark Week 2014.

Viewers will be encouraged to visit SharkWeek.com/Dunkin to vote for the “Dunkin’ Bite of the Nite,” which may wind up featured on Discovery Channel’s “Shark After Dark,” late-night talk show, which also begins airiing August 10. as each night host Josh Wolf will encourage Winners will be announced and their photos revealed on the show. The winning pictures may (no promises!) be featured on a Dunkin’ Donuts’ billboard in Times Square (where the cost of advertising is between $1.1 million and $4 million per year, according to The Wall St. Journal).

“Through the combination of unique social programming, exclusive digital content and a special donut in participating Dunkin’ Donuts restaurants … we’ve developed a truly innovative, immersive experience and opportunities for deeper engagement for our guests and all Shark Week fans,” Dunkin’ Brands’ President, Global Marketing and Innovation said in announcing the promotion. “Each year, the anticipation and enthusiasm for Shark Week increases, and we are excited to partner with Discovery Channel,” he added.

Dunkin’ Donuts and Discovery Channel are also offering fans an interactive Shark Week TV experience, developed by Dunkin’ Donuts’ agency of record Hill Holiday for the Microsoft

One video game platform. Viewers watching Shark Week through their Xbox One in conjunction with the Microsoft Internet Explorer browser can snap the window to the edge of their TV screen to view a live feed of #SharkWeek social content, interactive quizzes, real time polls and more, displayed simultaneous to the live programming on Discovery.

Discovery Channel building outfitted to promote shark week.

The Discovery Channel has a history of splashy promotional efforts for Shark Week dating back to its debut in 1988.

“The level of interaction and engagement with Xbox One adds a completely different yet exciting element to the traditional TV viewing experience, something we feel is an important trend to watch,” Hudler noted, explaining that preliminary consumer response has been extremely positive.

“We’ve received a lot of great feedback about how the user-generated images and conversation from social media, plus interactive trivia and polls, are a nice complement the Shark Week viewing experience,” Hudler said. “In the first two days of Shark Week, each visitor spent an average of over 12 minutes with the Xbox One experience and over 10% of visitors spent 30 minutes or more with us on the Xbox One.”

Hill Holliday VP Director of Experience Design Jamie Scheu feels the Xbox tie-in as precedent-setting. “This is the first time a paid advertiser has created an interactive experience like this for live television programming via the Xbox One. For Shark Week fans watching the show on their Xbox One, it offers additional content and a second-screen experience on their primary screen – their television. For Dunkin’ Donuts, it represents an opportunity to create sustained engagement with people in their living room, not just for 15 or 30 seconds at a time during commercial breaks, but for minutes or even hours throughout a live national television event.”

Sweetening the pot, on August 4 Dunkin’ began making a spash with the chomp-worthy “Shark Bite Donut.” The photogenic Shark Bite features a yeast ring donut topped with white and red icing designed to resemble a life preserver. It is available at select or participating Dunkin’ Donuts restaurants nationwide while supplies last.

For its part, Discovery is “proud to engage in this unique partnership with Dunkin’ Donuts to help drive brand awareness and bring our passionate shark fans into their stores and onto their website,” according to Harold Morgenstern, Senior Vice President, National Ad Sales Discovery Communications.

No purchase necessary, must be 18+ to enter. Void where prohibited. For official rules and additional information related to the “Take a Bite, Take a Pic” Twitter and Instagram Sweepstakes, please visit: SharkWeek.com/Dunkin.

Shark Week 2014 kicks off August 10 at 8 p.m. on The Discovery Channel and will include 13 shark-related shows throughout the week.

Dunkin' Donuts in Times Square.

Dunkin’ Brands has a Times Square track record, including this splashy 2013 campaign in conjunction with Broadway producer Hal Prince.

The Canton, Massachusetts-based Dunkin’ Brands Group, Inc. has nearly 11,000 restaurants in 33 countries and distribution points in 60 countries worldwide, with approximately 7,200 outlets in the U.S. For the full-year 2012, the company had franchisee-reported sales of approximately $8.8 billion. Its stock is traded on the NASDAQ exchange.

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by Brandon Gutman
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Brandon is an expert connector and seasoned business development professional. As Principal of Brand Approved, he's led the advisory to become the bridge between brand marketers and best of breed service providers that are reshaping the industry.

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