Dunkin’ kicks off Halloween costume contest on Instagram


Dunkin’ debuted a Halloween costume contest this week that urges customers to post pictures of their Dunkin’-inspired outfits on Instagram with the hashtag #DunkinDressUpContest. The coffee chain will award a grand prize of $1,000 and a year of free coffee to one winner, and will select weekly winners of $100 gift cards over the next two weeks leading up to Halloween, according to a company press release.

The coffee chain partnered with influencer Aww Sam on costume inspiration. Dunkin’ has partnered with the DIY blogger for the past two years around holidays like Halloween and National Doughnut Day on printable costumes and projects.

To keep in the spooky spirit, Dunkin’ created two special doughnuts for Halloween this year, including one that looks like a spider and an Oreo-topped treat filled with vanilla butter creme. The chain also is offering Oreo-flavored hot chocolate until November. Dunkin’ will announce its Q3 2018 results on Oct. 25, per an announcement.


Dunkin’s costume contest has the power of going viral on social media as Instagram users share pictures of their costumes with friends and followers, who may also feel inspired to enter the contest, while extending the reach of the social campaign. Halloween was one of the most popular topics mentioned last month by Facebook and Instagram users, according to Facebook IQ data cited by Adweek. In addition, the number of Pinterest searches for Halloween-related topics jumped 51% to 95 million this year from 2017, signaling an uptick in consumer interest around browsing social media for costume inspiration.

Dunkin’ has had an active year on social media as the coffee chain undergoes a name change that doesn’t limit the brand to associations with doughnuts. Drinks, especially coffee, make up about 60% of the chain’s sales, per Ad Age. Dunkin’ this month partnered with cookie brand Oreo on a campaign the included a back-and-forth conversation between their respective Twitter accounts. For Valentine’s Day, the chain’s promotion included a contest on Instagram and special emoji on its DDPerks loyalty app. Dunkin’ is also working to add more technology into its ecosystem, including mobile ordering through Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant voice-enabled platforms.

While Dunkin’ is greatly dependent on drink sales, the chain emphasizes food in its advertising more than rival Starbucks does, per a study by global location data solutions provider Blis. Dunkin’ advertised its food 14 times while Starbucks didn’t have any food ads in a four-week period that Blis sampled. Starbucks had 29 coffee ads, while Dunkin’ only had 11, its study found. Dunkin’ emphasized food after introducing its Go2s value menu nationwide in April, per QSR magazine.

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