Google Is Opening Pop-Up Doughnut Shops To Promote Its Voice-Activated Mini Speakers

The clever stunt might be taking over a location near you

Photo: Andrew Federman
Headshot of Marty Swant

Google is hoping the way to your ears is through your stomach.

To promote the launch of Google Home Mini, the company’s smaller smart speaker—about the size of, say, a donut—the tech company is putting on its baking mitts with a series of pop-up doughnut shops across the country. Starting this week, bakeries across the U.S. are partnering with Google as a way to promote the speaker, which was announced earlier this week during the company’s product event in Mountain View, California.

Like Google’s original Home speaker, Mini comes equipped with Google’s voice assistant and will be able to play music, conduct tasks and order products using artificial intelligence. Mini also lets Google more directly compete with Amazon’s Echo Dot—a smaller and cheaper version of the Seattle-based company’s own flagship smart speaker.

At nine cities across the U.S. and Canada, visitors will be able to walk into a donut shop to a kiosk, where they’ll be able to ask a Mini device a question, triggering a box to slide down from a chute. Visitors will then head to a counter and unbox their package, which will either contain a donut or a Mini. (Google says it won’t deprive Mini winners of donuts, too.)

The doughnut shops at various locations will be open at different days throughout the fall, starting this weekend in San Francisco and Manhattan and ending in St. Louis on Nov. 9.

Here’s a list of cities where the activation will take place:

• Manhattan: Oct. 4-8, 465 W. Broadway.
• San Francisco: Oct. 4, Oct. 14-15, 432 Octavia St.
• Los Angeles: Oct. 7-8, 1515 Abbot Kinney Blvd, Venice
• Brooklyn: Oct. 20-22, Jane’s Carousel, Brooklyn Bridge Park.
• Austin: Oct. 21-22, 80-82 Rainey St.
• Oklahoma City: Oct. 28-29, 399 NW 10th St.
• Madison, Wis.: Nov. 2, 1415 Engineering Dr.
• Chicago: Nov. 4-5, 435 N. Michigan Ave.
• Indianapolis: Nov. 4-5, West Georgia Street.
• St. Louis: Nov. 9, 4270 Duncan.

Photo: Andrew Federman
Photo: Andrew Federman
Photo: Andrew Federman
Photo: Andrew Federman

@martyswant Marty Swant is a former technology staff writer for Adweek.