Scrub Daddy and Dunkin’ Donuts Collaborated and It’s a Sweet Deal

How to use creative marketing gimmicks to boost your brand awareness and customer loyalty.

If you thought Scrub Daddy, the smiley-faced sponge that changes texture with water temperature, couldn’t get any more cheerful, think again. The company just announced a collaboration with Dunkin’, the coffee and donut chain, to celebrate the national donut day on June 7th. The result? A limited-edition Scrub Daddy that looks and smells like a Dunkin’ donut. Yes, you read that right. A donut-shaped sponge that will get your dishes squeaky clean after enjoying your donuts and iced coffee.Dunkin’ & Scrub Daddy Limited Edition Product Marketing Image

This might sound like a joke, but it’s actually a brilliant marketing strategy that benefits both brands. Scrub Daddy, which became famous after appearing on Shark Tank, has been known for its innovative and fun products that appeal to a wide range of customers. By partnering with Dunkin’, Scrub Daddy not only taps into a loyal fan base of donut lovers, but also creates a buzz-worthy product that generates free publicity and social media attention. Dunkin’, on the other hand, gets to showcase its playful and creative side, while also reminding customers of its delicious donuts and coffee. The collaboration also creates a sense of urgency and exclusivity, as the donut-shaped sponges are only available for a limited time and quantity.

This is not the first time that brands have used gimmicks like these to boost their sales and reputation. Here are some other examples of co-branded collaboration gimmicks that have worked in the past:

  • GoPro and Red Bull teamed up to create the Stratos project, where they sponsored a skydiver to jump from the edge of space and capture the whole experience with a GoPro camera. The stunt broke several world records and generated millions of views and media coverage.
  • Oreo and Cadbury joined forces to create a chocolate bar that combined Oreo’s crunchy cookie bits and Cadbury’s creamy milk chocolate. The product was a hit among chocolate lovers and increased the sales of both brands.
  • Spotify and Starbucks partnered to create a music ecosystem that allowed Starbucks customers to access Spotify playlists and discover new songs, while also earning Starbucks rewards points. The partnership enhanced the customer experience and loyalty of both brands.

These are all examples of how brands can use creativity, synergy, and excitement to create memorable experiences for their customers and stand out from the competition. Of course, not all gimmicks are successful, and some might even backfire if they are too outrageous or offensive.  But when done right, they can be a powerful way to connect with your audience and make them smile.

Here are some examples of co-brand gimmicks that failed to impress the customers and the critics:

  • KFC and Crocs teamed up to create a limited-edition shoe that looked like a bucket of fried chicken and smelled like it too. The shoes were sold out quickly, but they also received a lot of backlash for being ugly, wasteful, and disrespectful to animals.
  • Balenciaga and IKEA created a high-end version of IKEA’s iconic blue shopping bag that cost $2,145. The bag was meant to be a homage to IKEA’s design, but it also sparked a lot of mockery and confusion for being overpriced and unnecessary.
  • Pepsi and Kendall Jenner faced a huge controversy when they released an ad that showed Jenner joining a protest and offering a Pepsi to a police officer. The ad was accused of trivializing the Black Lives Matter movement and exploiting social justice issues for commercial gain. Pepsi had to apologize and pull the ad from circulation.

So, what can you learn from this sweet deal between Scrub Daddy and Dunkin’? Here are some tips on how to use creative marketing gimmicks to spice up your own brand:

  • Know your target market and what they like. Scrub Daddy and Dunkin’ both have a fun and friendly image that appeals to their customers. They also know that their customers love donuts and coffee, and that they would appreciate a quirky product that combines both.
  • Find a partner that complements your brand and values. Scrub Daddy and Dunkin’ both share a similar vision of making people happy and brightening their day. They also have a similar color scheme and logo that makes their collaboration look natural and seamless.
  • Make it relevant and timely. Scrub Daddy and Dunkin’ chose to launch their product on the national donut day, which is a perfect occasion to celebrate their collaboration and attract customers who are looking for a treat.
  • Make it limited and exclusive. Scrub Daddy and Dunkin’ only made 10,000 units of their donut-shaped sponges, and they are only available on Scrub Daddy’s website. This creates a sense of scarcity and urgency that drives customers to act fast and buy the product before it runs out.
  • Make it fun and shareable. Scrub Daddy and Dunkin’ made sure that their product is visually appealing and has a catchy name. They also encouraged customers to share their photos and videos of using the product on social media, using the hashtag #DunkinScrub. This creates a viral effect that spreads the word and generates more interest and awareness.

There you have it. A donut-shaped sponge that is more than just a gimmick. It’s a smart and effective marketing strategy that leverages creativity, humor, and collaboration to create a win-win situation for both brands and customers. So, next time you are looking for some fresh ideas on how to keep your marketing fresh, think outside the box and don’t be afraid to try something new. You might just find a sweet deal that works for you.

This is Jason Muldrow, President of Muldrow Marketing, signing off. Happy national donut day and happy scrubbing!


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