On Tuesday, Dunkin' and Oreo spent the day playing together on Twitter in an attempt to generate buzz for some new products.
The push is meant to promote two new Oreo products at Dunkin' shops, an Oreo-topped donut and Oreo-flavored hot chocolate. Rather than going with a traditional product announcement such as a press release, the brands took to Twitter with a back-and-forth conversation. Social media being what it is, some people seemed to enjoy the day-long joke and others didn't, and there was also a separate public relations issue that managed to make its way into the Twitter tete-a-tete conversation between the two brands.
The push started with a post late Monday night on the Dunkin' Donuts and Oreo Twitter pages featuring a short video. The brands were "swapping" Twitter accounts and wanted to make it look like a glitch.
Ẹ̸̑r̵̯͆͝r̵̥͛̿ö̷̗̼͠ŕ̶͚.̶̮̑͜ ̷̢̀C̴͎͊ǎ̷̟͚ñ̶̠ ̷̪̗̈́n̶͔͔͠o̶̤͑̓ṫ̴̪̮͐ ̶̲̑͘c̵͔̼͆o̵̮̚͝n̴̳̑n̸̪͋e̴͚̿c̸̛̠t̶͖̓̊ ̶͎͙̀ṱ̷̱͑ǫ̴̻͌ ̴̧̌Ṭ̶̭͐w̷̗͋i̸̲͒̀ť̷͈t̸̠͒̏e̶̻̓r̴̝̓͝.̸̖̂̆ ̵̭̦͌ pic.twitter.com/tG2Qj2NLnJ— Oreo Cookie (@Oreo) October 2, 2018
It's not the first time the brands have collaborated -- evidence donuts made with Oreos, Oreo-flavored drinks, and even Dunkin' Donuts mocha-flavored Oreo cookies. Fans of both brands were excited about their possible return, particularly Oreo-flavored iced coffee, which was initially released in 2015.
Please bring back Oreo flavored dunkin' iced coffee!!!!— Auxtin Fitzcock (@IAmAuxtin) October 2, 2018
The Twitter effort was meant to seem chatty but often came across as a bit calculated, including some posts with detailed illustrations of mock products.
But it became less fun after stories about a Dunkin' Donuts worker dumping water on a man resting at a table at one of its Syracuse locations, an incident that was captured on video, began circulating. Some people responding to what should have been a fun little Twitter chat between Oreo and Dunkin brought up the incident.
Look, a hole Idea from a company that has an "a-hole" pour water on a homeless dude.— Arnold (@Arnold921) October 2, 2018
Others gave Dunkin' praise for the guys being fired.
Thank you for Firing those individuals who poured water on that poor homeless man because he fell asleep while trying to charge his phone. They could have kindly woke him up, you just don't kick people when their down. Thanks #DunkinDonuts for standing up for him. 💞— Woman of Fire (@Graceful_638) October 2, 2018
Ultimately, the brands' banter ended with the product announcements.
The product announcement began with the donut, then the hot chocolate, perhaps a nod at Dunkin's commitment to donuts, even though drinks account for about 60 percent of sales.
The move did attract some attention. From Oct. 2 at 12 a.m. EDT to Oct. 3 at 12 a.m. EDT, there were 59,200 mentions of Dunkin, #DunkinDonuts or @dunkindonuts on Twitter, along with 11,300 mentions of Oreo, #Oreo or @oreo, and 3,800 mentions of both Dunkin' and Oreo, according to Sprinklr, which tracks social mentions for brands.
And brand fans want what they want. Even after the two products were unveiled, there was the talk of that iced coffee.
All these people asking for Oreo Iced Coffee and you guys are basically just giving them the big middle finger.. what's so hard about bringing back the iced coffee !?!?!— Josh (@Jbriand03) October 3, 2018
Both brands have big agencies working on social media. Tuesday's project was a collaboration between Oreo and its social agency, 360i (the agency behind the 2013 "Dunk in the Dark"), and Dunkin' and its creative agency, BBDO.
So, as the agencies digest the outcome of Tuesday's "swap" and look at customer conversations, perhaps it's only a matter of time until that iced coffee returns.