The Latest in Restaurant Merch: a Dunkin' Theme Wedding and Outback 'Steakwear'
How much do you love Dunkin'? Are you an every day customer? Every week? Do you have a branded reusable cup? How about a T-shirt?
Would you make your wedding Dunkin' themed and purchase Dunkin'-branded wedding merchandise around Valentine’s Day?
You might not. But, apparently, some people would! They could actually win a whole Dunkin’ wedding:
In a time when so many couples have had to reimagine their wedding, Dunkin’s special Marriage is on the Menu contest will give fans in New York the chance to win a unique wedding experience with a Dunkin’ twist. Dunkin’ has teamed up with I Do Drive Thru, an international drive-up wedding service created to help people get married in a fun and safe way during the pandemic, to perform the ceremonies. In addition to the Dunkin’-themed ceremony—complete with festive décor and picture perfect photo moments—each couple will receive special wedding presents from Dunkin’, including a gift basket of Dunkin’ wedding gear and accessories, professional photos from the big day, and a $500 cash prize.
— Jon Chesto (@jonchesto) January 28, 2021
Fast food allegiance is practically fanatical at this point. It's like a heated sports rivalry. If there are multiple regional favorites, it gets even more competitive. Dunkin' versus Tim Hortons. Wawa versus Sheetz. Chipotle versus Qdoba.
The list goes on.
Wearing a shirt is just like wearing your favorite team’s jersey. And more restaurants and fast food chains are paying attention to the demand. It seems like people really want not only to rep their favs, they want to really show off with allover prints.
Outback Steakhouse is joining in on that, and trusts that demand will be high enough that they’re raffling their merchandise away. It’s a smart idea, really. You have to buy menu items in order to be entered.
Not only can you order your favorite Outback steak, but you can wear it too. When you make an online order from https://t.co/teWYfQZKgc, enter STEAKWEAR into the promo or coupon box for a chance to win! See rules at https://t.co/b2oyMiLIas pic.twitter.com/qWzJf1CCxc
— Outback Steakhouse (@Outback) January 28, 2021
Outback is putting out three looks: “Sizzlin’ Steak Sweats,” “The Bloom Suit” and “Looking Like an Entree.”
“There’s no denying that life is very different than it was 10 months ago,” said Danielle Vona, Outback Steakhouse’s chief marketing officer. “More people are having food delivered and comfort clothes have become the go-to for lounging at home, so we decided to offer both.”
It’s sort of like what McDonald’s did earlier during the pandemic, releasing McDelivery items that specialized in staying home and staying comfy.
That trend is going to last for a while. People are still working from home, and until infection rates drop and vaccinations rise, most people will still opt to stay home over heading out to crowded restaurants. While they still might want to rep their favorite spots, they’ll want to do it from home.
As someone who worked at Texas Roadhouse (sworn enemy of Outback) in high school, I can’t really imagine myself wearing steak all over my shirt by choice. I did it plenty as a result of bussing tables. Maybe the next step is to make shirts with steak smells to really recreate the full experience.
Both of these promotional campaigns, but especially Dunkin's, are good examples of brands getting creative to engage customers and fans in memorable ways that go beyond a simple product giveaway. The idea is to use a digital experience to create engagement not just with the recipients of the products, but with a broader audience online. Even if you're not having a Dunkin' themed wedding, you'll certainly want to read about the kind of people who would.