A contest that Dunkin' Donuts says succeeded beyond its "wildest imagination" will become an annual event.
Frances Allen, brand marketing officer at Dunkin' Brands, told a crowded ballroom at the OMMA Global conference on Tuesday that the results of its "Create Dunkin's Next Donut" contest this year included engagement time online of more than nine minutes, 130,000 contest entries, 333,000 donuts created and 3 million Facebook impressions.
"It is a great example of crowd-sourcing," she said in her talk on "How Dunkin' Does Social." "Press coverage was huge during every phase."
The contest gave the winner, "Toffee for Your Coffee," $12,000 and a chance to have the donut sold in stores. Dunkin' encouraged donut designers to send their donuts to their Facebook friends and supported the contest with in-store POP and a three-day campaign.
"It was supposed to run longer," she said, "but the response was so great, there were more entries than we could handle." That abbreviated campaign included multi-messaging on Facebook, Dunkin' Dave on Twitter and an active PR effort.
Many finalists created their own Facebook fan pages -- and, said Allen, many become celebrities in their local markets.
The contest was part of Dunkin's integrated effort to "rekindle America's love of classic Dunkin' Donuts," she said, adding that research showed what most brand fans liked was the variety of donuts and then nostalgia. "Everyone has a memory around sharing donuts with family and friends." These insights have driven every aspect of Dunkin's marketing efforts, including TV, radio, outdoor, in-store and online.