Google goes on experiential donut pop-up tour


The smart speaker battle is on, and it’s set to be one for the ages.

Fighting out of the corner to our left is the superheavyweight champion of online shopping, Amazon.

The tech giant’s Amazon Echo has generated a ton of buzz since its launch last year, and while the jury’s still out on whether the technology is super-helpful or super-creepy, it’s undoubtedly kicked open the doors to a whole new product that no-one ever quite realised they needed until now.

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And battling out of the corner to our right is the undisputed leader in online search, Google.

Announced earlier this month, the Google Home Mini is now looking to go head-to-head with Amazon’s flagship offering, providing hands-free help around the house and personalised solutions to tackle each and every day.

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Undoubtedly, many will love it, while many others will continue to find the concept highly creepy.

But Google has the answer to overcome even the strongest of customer concerns – a series of pop-up Google Home Mini Donut Shops. Because, let’s face it, who doesn’t like donuts?

Touring 11 US cities across October and November, these quirky shops are giving away small boxes to anyone who enters, rings the bell and asks the Home Mini a question. Each visitor to the store is then finding one of two things inside their box – either two delicious donuts, or their very own Home Mini device to keep. Whatever way you slice it, it’s a win-win. 

Conveyor belts add colour to the experiential ‘shops’ and provide mouth-watering excitement for visitors, while a “Sprinkle Booth” is also on offer that gives customers the chance to dance around in showers of confetti. Of course.

It’s a pretty bold, in-your-face, and costly way to bring a new product to market, but Google is a company with deep pockets and one that is intent on ensuring that its Google Home Mini device becomes a big success this winter, alongside its other big technological innovation: the Google Daydream VR platform.

Pop-ups offer the chance to reach out and grab consumer interest in a whole host of surprising situations. Whether it’s IKEA’s experiential pop-up café in Toronto, BIC’s highly creative anniversary stunt, or even Nescafe’s surprising pop-up that united neighbours in the centre of Milan,  a great pop-up can provide that all-important first opportunity for a consumer to interact directly with a brand in a hugely positive way.

Author bio


With nearly 30 years of marketing experience, both client and agency side, I’ve acquired a rare perspective on brands and business: I believe you have to challenge things creatively if you want to grow sales. Consumer technology is reshaping our world, and it’s only the great brands that stay on the crest.