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Arby’s boosts limited-time offer via mobile gaming campaign

August 1, 2013

Arby's used mobile to promote new sandwiches

A recent mobile advertising effort from quick-service restaurant Arby’s helped the chain deliver one of its most successful limited-time offer promotions ever.

Arby’s leveraged ads in mobile games to promote a limited-time offer for two King’s Hawaiian Roast Beef sandwiches. The results show that delivering relevant brand messages during specific moments in a mobile game can increase purchase intent and drive brand awareness.

“Arby’s, as well as many major brands, recognize that mobile gaming offers access to a huge, highly engaged audience today,” said Ari Brandt, CEO and Co-founder, MediaBrix, New York.

“By utilizing emotional targeting and brand messaging that is additive to game play, Arby’s was able to leverage the passion their consumers have for their favorite games and channel it towards their brand,” he said.

“The campaign was launched as cross-platform, Web, tablet and mobile, but mobile played a critical role since gaming continues to be the leading activity on smartphones. Arby’s campaign performance on mobile generated the highest results of all the platforms we ran on.”

Celebratory messaging
The campaign was launched on April 29, which is when Arby’s made its official announcement of the limited time offer for the King’s Hawaiian Roast Beef and King’s Hawaiian Roast Beef & Swiss sandwiches. The sandwiches were available for 30 days.

Ads encouraging users to try the new sandwiches were served on Facebook, mobile and Web games via MediaBrix’s advertising platform.

The focus was on delivering brand messages at specific breakthrough moments, which are emotional moments in gaming when players are supposed to be most receptive to brand participation.

Players could watch an Arby’s video and receive a power-up

Arby’s leveraged the Flex and Views products on the MediaBrix platform.

With Flex, a brand-response advertising unit is integrated during natural game breaks to congratulate users on their performance with a customized celebratory message and special offer.

With the Views product, when users were stuck on a level or running out of lives, Arby’s presented an opportunity to earn an extra life or virtual good in exchange for engaging in a brand message.

For example, players needing help reaching the next level in game Beach Buggy Blitz were provided an opportunity to upgrade their buggy in exchange for watching the King’s Hawaiian Roast Beef sandwich video message.

Positive brand connection
Overall, the campaign drove a brand awareness lift of 319 percent, as measured by Nielsen Online Brand Effect.

Arby’s has been using mobile advertising for a couple of  years.

Last year, the chain drove foot traffic to its locations with a mobile advertising campaign that centered around new turkey roasters sandwiches and appeared in Pandora’s iPhone application (see story).

“Arby’s target market for this particular sandwich was married adults, ages 30-45 with children, and without a doubt these people are playing social and mobile games,” Mr. Brandt said.

“When users were stuck on a level or running out of lives, Arby’s presented an opportunity to earn an extra life or virtual good in exchange for engaging in a brand message,” he said. “This brand interaction is not only additive to the game play, it also establishes a positive brand connection.”

Final Take
Chantal Tode is associate editor on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York

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