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Ed Duah, Director of Brand Partnerships at GDK. /German Doner Kebab

Behind GDK’s culture of collaboration

Beyond social media, the brand is building its own culture in the kebab space.

German Doner Kebab has a great track record in brand collaboration which saw millions of reach in social media, soaring sales for its limited-time offers, and sold-out events. But beyond these impressive numbers, the brand’s main goal is to showcase its own unique culture.

Take, for example, its recent collaboration with Paramount Picture’s ‘Sumotherhood’ movie.

When GDK’s Director of Brand Partnerships Ed Duah got a call from one of his mates about a possible collaboration with actor, rapper, and director Adam Deacon for the release of the movie Sumotherhood, Ed immediately jumped at the chance.

READ MORE: GDK partners with Paramount Pictures for Sumotherhood release

Ed has been a fan of Deacon for some time, with many of his works resonating with him since he was young.

Ed didn’t waste time and asked for a meeting the next day, and was taken for a tour of their studio in East London. After a few meetings, the collaboration with GDK and Paramount Pictures launched a limited edition “Sumotherhood’ Boss Box.

This was one of GDK’s main strategies for the collaboration because as one of its signature products, it sells around two million Boss Boxes per year.

“Once we agreed on collaborating, I knew I had to get these guys (Deacon and Jazzie Zonzolo) on the front of the Boss Box because I know what it means to people to have that product in their hand and to be able to take that home with them,” Ed explained.

The box itself has some interactive elements for their customers. It includes a QR code which customers can scan to watch the film’s trailer. The collaboration also saw some promotions like winning free tickets and getting to watch the movie with the cast.

“Before I thought about these activations, I went back to when I was younger and thought what would I have liked? And you know, for the younger consumers, which is our general target market, there’s nothing better than meeting your idols,” Ed said.

Pop culture

This isn’t the first time that GDK had a massive collaboration. One of the most memorable ones was its partnership with Fast X, which was part of the Fast & Furious film franchise.

One of its biggest activations for the collaboration was a raffle with prizes including a trip to LA, a private screening of the movie, as well as vouchers you can spend in GDK restaurants. GDK also made use of interactive elements like QR code scanning.

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The activation saw over 20 million social media impressions, 85,000 QR code entries, and a sold-out physical event which 6,000 people attended.

“The way we operate is that we understand what the culture is and we understand what we bring to the culture. That’s why it makes sense to work with certain brands within a culture. We don’t try to put square pegs into round holes and this is why this movie worked well with us,” Ed added.

Owning the space

GDK believes in connecting with consumers via culture as well as having a great product.

This means ensuring that their brand is uniform in the space they are in, with music, sports, and entertainment as the pillars for brand collaboration, which Ed knows by heart.

“Food could be the connection between all of that because food is something everyone can enjoy. So for us, understanding it from an embryonic stage and a cultural standpoint, we’re able to make these partnerships so relevant and impactful. We don’t just put a sticker on it. We live and breathe it,” Ed said.

Ed said they plan to find more opportunities to connect products with culture through these collaborations. He hinted at another movie collaboration as well as developing more merchandise for the brand.

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