Dunkin’ Turns Ordering Coffee into Social Networking

Dunkin’ Donuts is encouraging consumers to pick up something for their friends or coworkers on the next donut run. The coffee and baked goods chain this week kicked off “Dunkin’ Run,” an interactive website and iPhone application, which aims to make group orders easier and more fun.
Participating customers create a list of friends and colleagues who are alerted when the Dunkin’ “runner” is heading to Dunkin’ Donuts for coffee or pastries. These contacts can then put in an order, and the requests are flowed into a group checklist, which the Runner can print out and bring to the nearest Dunkin’ Donuts location, or view on an iPhone. These contacts can also register on the site themselves to personalize a list of favorite items or track previous orders.
The project was a collaborative effort between Dunkin’ Donuts, its advertising agency Hill Holliday, and its digital agency, Studio.com. Dunkin’ Donuts spent $42 million on advertising (not including digital ads) from January to April of 2009, and $116 million total in 2008, per Nielsen.
“We conceived of Dunkin’ Run as a social application that helps hard-working Americans stay slightly more productive,” said Baba Shetty, Hill Holliday’s chief media officer, in a statement. “It’s based on the idea of reciprocity—I’ll get your coffee today and hopefully you’ll get mine tomorrow.”