- Dunkin' is hosting a pop-up shop in New York City on June 21 for a campaign to celebrate the longest day of the year. Coffee fans can visit the activation today to receive a "human charger" box filled with a can of Dunkin's Shot in the Dark coffee and espresso drink, a reusable straw dubbed "a human charging accessory" and a tongue-in-cheek user guide, according to materials shared with Marketing Dive.
- The Human Charger campaign, developed by agency Fast Horse, includes a product promo video that's reminiscent of a tech company's launch spot, per the press materials.
- For "low-battery humans" outside of New York, coffee fans can request delivery of a free sample via Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant.
Dunkin's summer campaign brings together several popular marketing strategies of late. Several drink brands have tried to tie themselves to seasonal or reoccurring events, including Budweiser's Memorial Day campaign, Pepsi's summer tie-ins and Busch beer's attempt to become the favorite at weddings. Aligning itself to the longest day of the year appears to be an appropriate association for a caffeine-propelled brand like Dunkin'.
Deploying temporary pop-up activations is a strategy many marketers are finding useful in building brand buzz through social media and word-of-mouth. By bringing a campaign to life through real-world events, Dunkin' could drum up excitement and user-generated content while directly engaging with loyal customers. Last fall, Dunkin's Coffee at Home division, which sells beans and beverages in grocery stores, hosted a pop-up tiny home in New York that ran on used coffee grounds in order to gain consumer attention and flex some marketing muscle.
For Dunkin', the Human Charger campaign also taps into the growing group of consumers who use virtual assistants in their daily lives. Nearly three-quarters of Americans hadn't employed a voice-enabled digital assistant to find product info or make purchases, per a study last year by personalization firm Rich Relevance. Dunkin's allowing people to use the virtual assistants to request a free coffee could encourage more people to use the assistants for the first time and engage with the brand via voice in a cost-free way.
The Human Charger campaign's mock-tech product video is the latest member of a family of parody marketing videos that includes, for instance, a mock influencer video released by KFC in April that featured a computer-generated version of the fast-food's iconic founder, Colonel Sanders. Also in April, Adobe released a content marketing video inspired by the winner of a poster contest. Directed by actor and director Zach Braff and featuring actress Alicia Silverstone, the nearly 12-minute piece parodies the modern world of influencers in an 18th-century England setting.