As soon as September rolls around each year, it begins to appear on the social feeds of your most fanatic Halloween-loving friends: Dancing Pumpkin Guy, heralding the start of their favorite season.
The original video- filmed to fill dead airspace on a Halloween newscast on a local Nebraska station in 2006- now exists as many GIFs. It has become a staple part of the Halloween season online since it went viral, several years after its creation.
This year, he graced our televisions in a new and very mainstream way, appearing on America’s Got Talent:
It seems here may be where his talent was spotted by those behind Dunkin’ Donuts, and embraced as the perfect way to introduce their Halloween treats:
And just like the original video, it works perfectly when broken up into shorter GIFs to post across social.
This comes together as a fun way to for Dunkin’ to introduce its Halloween doughnuts, a little bit of a risk considering that, as noted by Marketing Dive:
“Memes inherently have a short shelf life and brands often misuse them in their marketing or otherwise only deploy them when they’re deemed ‘stale’ by prickly users.”
This partnership works because it’s fun and silly, and its seasonality may lend the meme itself some staying power, since its brief time in the spotlight each year gives internet connoisseurs enough of a break not to get sick of it.
Dunkin’ also did right in involving the actual Dancing Pumpkin Guy in the project; getting anyone else to recreate it would have seemed like a cheap way to capitalize on the meme and made the brand feel very out-of-touch. As Dunkin’ sponsors America’s Got Talent, it seems this is likely where the connection was first made.
The campaign doesn’t stop at Dancing Pumpkin Guy either:
“The chain is also asking fans to let them know which of the specialty donuts is their favorite on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, potentially drumming up some user-generated content.”
Fans of Dancing Pumpkin Guy and seasonal pastries alike should love the chance to get their opinions heard on Dunkin’ social feeds. Hopefully Dunkin’ takes advantage of the opportunity to strengthen their relationship with their Halloween-loving audience.