What do base jumping, wingsuits, and donuts have in common?

Absolutely nothing. That is, until Dunkin’ Donuts brought all three together as part of a marketing effort to promote their new On-The-Go mobile ordering service.

The result is Ellen Brennan, the world’s fastest flying woman, donning a pink wingsuit and soaring down a mountainside at roughly 120mph to pick up her donut order–in mid-air.

Talk about intense.

But Dunkin’ Donuts didn’t stop at just slapping 1 video up on their YouTube channel. They turned it into a cross-platform experience by releasing 30 and 15 second versions on their social media channels, like Facebook and Instagram.

A video posted by dunkindonuts (@dunkindonuts) on

And if that’s not enough, the donut giant also released a 360-degree version on the same day of Ellen’s downhill flight, giving viewers the experience that they’re soaring right alongside of her (not gonna lie, it’s really cool).

And to put the final icing on the cake, they created an in-depth Behind the Scenes video for viewers who found the overall content interesting.

Joining forces

Dunkin’ Donuts has pulled a page straight out of the effective content marketing book–joining forces with an interesting/unusual/compelling person to create new promotional content.

It’s a great way to get your content to stand out. Even though the “guest star” generally has very little to do with the company’s actual product, the fascination they generate pulls viewers in. As a result, they watch a promotional ad of sorts about a new product, yet still feel like they’re watching something original, and creative.

How much promotion is too much?

While this type of content is often very engaging, it can have a potential downside. The company can improperly balance the originality or authenticity with the actual promotion of the product. A failure to properly execute these two things results in viewers feeling like they’re being marketed to, or that the company is trying to hard to stand out.

If you watch the original video above, you can almost count the number of times something related to Dunkin’ Donuts is on-screen. From the little makeshift store on the mountainside, to the logo on Ellen’s helmet, there’s a lot of elements screaming “this is an ad!”.

Some viewers might not care, but the goal of “joint content” like this is to very subtly promote your product or service. It remains to be seen if DD accomplished that or not.


Think about your own content.

What kind of people or companies can you partner with to create interesting joint content that spans multiple platforms?

The guest star doesn’t even have to be related to your industry. Think outside the box, and don’t afraid to “reach for the skies.”