One of Cinnabon’s most noteworthy, pop-culture-focused marketing campaigns and partnerships came about by chance. You might even say it was a bit of luck. When AMC aired one of its final episodes of Breaking Bad, Saul Goodman (played by Bob Odenkirk) said, “If I’m lucky, in a month from now, best-case scenario, I’m managing a Cinnabon in Omaha.”
The Cinnabon social team quickly capitalized on the mention and tweeted a link to the brand’s careers page to Odenkirk. Soon after that, Cinnabon and the AMC show partnered, with the brand creating a series of campaigns around new seasons as a way to keep itself at the forefront of pop culture and move away from being thought of as simply a mall-based chain.
“The organic nature of the partnership comes from such a good place, and to hear the creators of the show talk about why they were excited when that happened and how it made sense for the vision they had for the show—it just felt organic and therefore very authentic,” said Jill Thomas, vp of global marketing for Cinnabon.
Now, as Breaking Bad’s spinoff Better Call Saul prepares for its third season (debuting April 10), Cinnabon is still working closely with the network to give fans of the show and fans of the deliciously gooey cinnamon rolls something to celebrate.
“This year, we are doing our biggest activation yet to support the premiere,” Thomas said. “We don’t really have the inside track on what’s going to happen with our character this year. When you’re trying to put together a tightly integrated promotional support plan for something when you don’t really know what’s going to happen, it makes it a little challenging.”
So how does Cinnabon plan to roll out its latest integrated campaign for the upcoming season, and what exactly is in store for fans of the brand and the show?
“The main thing is we have created really unique content for each platform that is special and is totally tied to the show,” Thomas said. “It makes sense for how we are integrating with the show, so we are really proud of it.”
The campaign includes everything from digital and social to an activation in a bakery and an online sweepstakes that gives fans a chance to win a briefcase filled with cash. Fans can get extra entries by tweeting the hashtags #BetterCallSaul and #Sweeps.
Through the partnership, Cinnabon also scored access to some clips from the new season, which it’s showing on its website. Fans had to work to unlock the clip by entering their email addresses on the site.
Since the beginning of the show is always in black and white, Cinnabon decided to please fans by mimicking that style in all of its videos for the Season 3 campaign. Each of the minitrailers the brand has tweeted are short and sweet, and shot in black and white.
Cinnabon will also have an in-store giveaway ahead of the season premiere to win over fans of the show and please cinnamon role fans as well. A few days before the new season airs, Cinnabon will be giving away some delicious treats.
“It has something for everyone, whether you are just a superfan of the show or you want to be in a sweepstakes for a chance to win or you want your Cinnabons,” Thomas said. “We think we accomplished a way to make sure everybody is a winner.”