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Special Project

Special Project
From the 8th Annual Shorty Awards

Cinnabon’s Thanks For #30SweetYears

Entered in Integrated Campaign


Cinnabon, an American institution loved worldwide, celebrated its 30th birthday in 2015 and we wanted to take the opportunity to show as much love and appreciation for our fans as any brand can. Ultimately, our birthday celebration was a show of gratitude for supporting us through 30 incredibly sweet years by putting our fans front and center. Of course, our hope was that this outpouring of love would be reciprocated with the kind of buzz that drives awareness, traffic and sales.

We wanted to create an activation that would reinforce Cinnabon's brand values and our promise to bring people together and connect those who love us through magical, OMG moments. It was important that all elements of this celebration, from social activation to the in- bakery experience, be seamlessly integrated into the same core message.

Strategy and Execution

We launched an integrated campaign all focused on encouraging Cinnabon fans to "Cinnabrate" #30SweetYears.

In-Bakery Executions

In bakeries we offered special Birthday Cake CinnaSweeties and Birthday Cake Chillattas. But really, what's a birthday party without killer party favors, right? On September 26th we gave away free MiniBon Rolls for all to show our appreciation for #30SweetYears. Bakeries from Seattle to Moscow to the UAE participated in the celebration and sent in pictures of their celebrations, which was then sent to more than 1,400 news publications.

Cinnabon Food Truck

We launched a food truck tour in key domestic markets – Seattle and Los Angeles – to spread the Cinnabon love and celebrate with our fans. Over the course of two weeks we had one big traveling party to Cinnabrate, giving away over 5,000 MiniBon Rolls wherever the truck took us. In Hollywood, we even hit the sets of the hit TV shows "Black-ish" and "The Muppets".

Virtual Birthday Card

Cinnabon fans visited to "sign" our virtual birthday card by snapping and sharing a selfie. This site received 15,000+ unique viewers and had a 23% conversion rate inspiring over 3,500 people to submit photos congratulating Cinnabon. The love didn't stop there. Hundreds of these fans received Cinnabon T-Shirts and took to Twitter, Facebook and Instagram to show them off.

SnapChat Launch

Cinnabon used its #30SweetYears campaign to launch its newest social channel on SnapChat. We updated our profile pics on all other social media channels to reflect the SnapChat ghost to drive traffic and spark interest. Then, we put it in the hands of social influencers Danny Berk and Evan Garber to make it epic. These guys took over our SnapChat channel and absolutely crushed it. They took it to the fans and created story after story of epic Cinnabrations taking place, sharing their love for Cinnabon and creating a number of sugar rushes. Check out the best moments here:

Social Media / Digital Integration

All parts of the #30SweetYears campaign were shared and amplified via all of Cinnabon's social channels. Not only did our fans sign our Virtual Birthday Card on our microsite, they made sure to send birthday wishes our way via Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Additionally, we drove people to social through an email marketing campaign to reach our loyalty members promoting all aspects of the #30SweetYears activation.

PR Integration

The PR team sent a "party-in-a-box" to 7 celebrities that were turning 30 in 2015 and 20 influential media. The mailer included the LTO Birthday Cake Frosted CinnaSweeties, Pinnacle Cinnabon Vodka, party hats, noisemakers, shot glasses, and a helium-filled balloon that popped out when the recipient opened it!

As a result of the distribution, both Chrissy Teigen and Willie Geist of the TODAY Show gave Cinnabon notable shout outs. In addition, desk-side interviews for Joe Guith were secured with both Venessa Wong of BuzzFeed and Hadley Malcolm of USA Today.


Overall, during this two-week campaign, Cinnabon Word-Of-Mouth was up 140% from its typical two-week average. This social activation garnered more than 138MM impressions across Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

When Cinnabon launched our SnapChat page, the results were fast and fun! In less than one week we got more than 2,000 followers and over 20,000 unique viewers with an average of 75 consecutive seconds of branded content. The SnapChat launch was featured in AdWeek as well.

PR worked hard to help Cinnabon celebrate #30SweetYears of delivering irresistible products to its loyal fans. To announce the milestone, the PR team distributed a press release to over 220 media outlets, resulting in over 170M impressions

After receiving 30th birthday mailers, celebrities like Willie Geist of the TODAY Show and Chrissy Teigen had "Cinnabon-fever" and gave the brand notable shout outs on-air and over social media. And our Food Truck activation resulted in mentions on "Black-ish" and "The Muppets"!

Additionally, outlets like Refinery29, Delish, All You, and many others announced the MiniBon giveaway to readers, and Joe Guith appeared on FOX & Friends to share the birthday news. As a result of Cinnabon's PR media outreach, unique media placements totaled 26,680,315 impressions.


Video for Cinnabon’s Thanks For #30SweetYears

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