In 2012 Dunkin’ Brands—comprised of Dunkin’ Donuts, known as America’s largest retailer of coffee-by-the-cup, and Baskin-Robbins, the world’s largest ice cream chain—announced a multi-year marketing partnership with NBA All-Star and two-time league MVP LeBron James. As a global icon, LeBron was signed on to be a brand ambassador, supporting the company’s continued growth of Dunkin' and Baskin in China and Taiwan.
Dunkin’ Brands wanted a campaign exciting enough to spark interest, but simple enough to promote two brands, in two languages, in two countries—with zero paid media. SapientNitro answered the call with a cross-channel approach, built on a very simple idea: We invited Dunkin' and Baskin guests to get closer to LeBron than they could have ever imagined with a program called Be with the King. From conception through branding through execution, we brought the concept to life across multiple touch points, including point of purchase, mobile, apparel, print, and social channels.
Here’s how it worked. In stores, people were invited to take photos next to a life-sized LeBron using a mobile app. Then they could upload the pictures to an ever-growing online mosaic where they could literally "Be With The King," along with thousands of other fans. Participants could also interact with the mosaic, find their image, and share it across their social networks. But it didn’t stop there. At the end, we surprised everyone with a digital copy of the completed mosaic to immortalize their moment with LeBron.
To encourage engagement and drive store traffic throughout this initiative, we developed a host of initiatives: A social campaign across Weibo and Facebook served as the campaign hub for fans to stay on top of the latest “Be With The King” happenings. A microsite hosted the mosaic and included a sweepstakes where fans could sign up to win autographed LeBron prizes. T-shirts and posters were given away online. Store employees adorned those same t-shirts to spark interest among guests.
This campaign launched the foundation for a multi-year, multi-channel partnership.