Dunkin' Donuts, Chili's join royal wedding craze with new promotions
- Dunkin’ Donuts is releasing a special Royal Love Donut to celebrate the upcoming British royal wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, according to a news release. The heart-shaped, jelly-filled doughnut is frosted with chocolate icing and strawberry drizzle, and will be available May 14 to 20 at participating stores.
- On May 14, the doughnut and coffee chain is offering select customers a chance to ride through Central Park in New York City in a horse-drawn carriage decorated in Dunkin’s pink and orange colors while enjoying Royal Love Donuts. Carole Radziwill, a real princess and cast member of “The Real Housewives of New York City,” will take the first ride. To celebrate the royal wedding on May 19, many Dunkin’ restaurants will open at 5 a.m., EST, before the event is televised in the U.S.
- In other news, Chili’s has created a line of fascinator hats and cufflinks to celebrate the royal wedding, a news release announced. The fascinators and cufflinks feature recreations of menu items, like Big Mouth Burgers, Texas Sized Ribs and Sizzling Fajitas. The items are not available for purchase, but fans can follow the conversation on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram using hashtag #ChilisRoyalWedding.
A growing number of brands are linking themselves to the upcoming royal wedding, which is expected to be especially popular in the U.S. since bride Meghan Markle is American, which means there's an opportunity for marketers to ride the coattails of the excitement around the event with their own themed promotions, which so far are leaning towards viewing parties and product tie-ins around fascinators, the elaborate hats that are popular at British royal weddings.
American Dunkin’ Donuts' out-of-home carriage experience in Central Park and the Royal Love Donut show the brand's commitment to its promises of more product innovation and field marketing following the hire of Omnicom Group’s BBDO Worldwide as its new creative agency of record last month.
Dunkin’ is also targeting avid royal fans who plan to rise with the sun and watch the nuptials on TV by opening some of its stores at 5 a.m. Kellogg’s is planning a similar campaign with a 5:30 a.m. cereal-centric breakfast party at its NYC Café and cereal-box fascinator hats, as well as a multi-course menu of royal-themed breakfast recipes.
Chili’s is also tapping into the excitement and social media buzz of the royal wedding. Like many fast-casual restaurant chains, Chili’s has struggled to attract younger consumers and attempts at adding trendy food items like kale and quinoa have failed, causing the restaurants to cut almost half of its menu and focus on classics, like burgers and fajitas. Its royal-wedding promotion highlights these items in a unique way.
Markle is the first U.S-born royal bride since Grace Kelly married into Monaco’s royal family in 1956. TV viewership is expected to exceed the 23 million who tuned in to see Prince William and Kate Middleton wed in 2011, according to The Guardian.