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Arby’s uses mobile coupons to generate buzz for new Roastburger

August 24, 2009

roastburgerFast food chain Arby’s ran a mobile campaign to promote its new sandwich, the Roastburger.

Alabama consumers were asked to text the word ROASTED to short code 74642 to get a coupon for a free Roastburger. Charter Communications ran the calls-to-action via its cable network and the campaign was powered by Ping Mobile.

“The strategy for Arby’s campaign was to find a fun, exciting and original way to promote their new burger to their target demographic,” said Peter Schultz, vice president of business development at Ping Mobile, Englewood Cliffs, NJ.

“In addition to uniqueness, Arby’s also wanted to try a medium that was easily trackable, unlike traditional marketing methods, mobile enabled Arby’s to achieve a level of trackability,” he said.

Arby’s is a subsidiary of Triarc Companies Inc. The fast food franchise’s quick service restaurants specialize in offering slow roasted and freshly sliced roast beef sandwiches as well as its market fresh deli-style sandwiches, toasted subs, wraps and salads with the convenience of a drive-through.

Consumers who texted in received the following message: “FREE Arby’s Roastburger! Show this msg for a FREE Roastburger w/purchase of any size drink – limit 1. ends 3/30/09. @ participating locations.”

Participants were then asked to double opt-in for future marketing messages from Arby’s. This message read, “Reply YES 2 get more exclusive offers from Arbys + Charter! Mx4msgs/mo. std text rates apply. Reply YES Now!”

Consumers who opted in were added to a database of names, which Arby’s will use for future promotions.

“Arby’s was seeking a new channel through which they could drive traffic to their locations,” said Shira Simmonds, president of Ping Mobile. “Mobile enabled Arby’s to reach out to their desired demographic and offer their customers a promotion that was targeted and relevant, while at the same time being convenient and instantly available.”

The campaign ran for just under a month and had over 850 respondents.

This isn’t the first time that Arby’s is using mobile coupons.

Arby’s is used mobile to complement its existing marketing strategy, reach consumers and enhance customer interaction with the brand in August 2008.

Arby’s tapped mobile coupon and discount service provider Cellfire Inc. to deliver values into customers’ hands when they are on the go and more likely to eat out.

The Cellfire-powered mobile coupons were redeemable at 250 restaurants throughout Atlanta, Birmingham, Dallas-Ft.Worth, Los Angeles and Tampa-St. Petersburg.

“Being that this was the first Mobile campaign executed in the Alabama market, this campaign proved to be a tremendous success and helped both Ping and Charter understand the mobile trends of that demographic,” said Judah Rosen, client services manager at Ping Mobile.

“This campaign demonstrated that a great Mobile offer from a respected merchant like Arby’s, will undoubtedly increase ROI almost immediately without the massive media spend,” he said.

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Giselle Tsirulnik is senior editor at Mobile Commerce Daily and Mobile Marketer. Reach her at

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