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Blimpie engages millenials with in-app offers in new mobile game

September 19, 2013

The mobile game

Fast food chain Blimpie is trying to attract millenials and stay relevant with customers by placing offers and prizes within a new mobile game application.

The game, Blimpie Run, is available for Android and Apple devices and features the quick-service restaurant’s mascot Del E. Fresh running through different cities to collect ingredients on the way to a Blimpie shop. Users can win free subs for a year as well as other offers at Blimpie stores.

“When creating the game we knew that it was essential to create full integration with all of our digital channels and close the loop,” said Steve Evans, vice president of marketing for Blimpie, Scottsdale, AZ. “This new app allows customers to join our email club when signing in so we can keep them up to date on the latest news and offers from Blimpie.

“Customers want to feel appreciated and membership in our email club allows us to send them personalized communications with offers and news on exciting new things like our new Blimpie Run app,” he said. “Additionally, the app has integration with our social channels to allow players to post and brag to their friends about their score.

“The free app market is very competitive and we feel that we have created the perfect fun way for customers to engage with the brand as well as give our customers the monthly chance to win free subs for a year.”

Blimpie Run
Blimpie Run is part of the chain’s new mobile marketing strategy that is geared towards millenials.

Users have to direct Del E. Fresh through U.S. cities to collect the ingredients while outrunning skunks, scorpions and other predators and avoiding different obstacles.

They can win real-life prizes by playing the game as well as app-exclusive offers that they can redeem at local Blimpie stores.

A screenshot of Blimpie Run

Additionally, users can share high scores or challenge friends via Facebook and Twitter.

Consumers must provide an email address, name, age, ZIP code and state of residence to qualify for the free sub grand prize. Then they must win 10,000 points within one month to enter the contest.

Consumers can also win an additional 1,000 points by sharing scores on social networks or email.

Every 10,000 points acquired add up to a new entry, and consumers can earn unlimited entries starting Oct. 1 through Sept. 30, 2014.

One winner will be selected every  month starting Nov. 1. The prize consists of one $250 Blimpie egift card, which translates to approximately 48 Blimpie regular subs.

Blimpie is anticipating its 50th anniversary in 2014, and is therefore overhauling its brand. In addition to the mobile game, the chain is featuring new store designs and menus that are geared towards younger customers.

Social sharing within the app

Mobile subs
Mobile is increasingly important in the fast-food industry, challenging the QSRs to up their efforts in the medium.

In May, Blimpie streamlined the gift-buying experience by offering gift cards via mobile (see story).

Other QSRs are also rolling out mobile initiatives.

QSRS such as McDonald’s, Taco Bell and Wendy’s are using mobile bar codes to add shelf life to their packaging (see story).

Additionally, Burger King is promoting its mobile delivery services to let consumers place orders anywhere, anytime (see story).

“We are looking at adding sms text and in-app push notifications as the next steps to our mobile strategy  to continue to capitalize on the fact that society is constantly on the go and increasingly dependent on our devices,” Mr. Evans said.

“It’s clear to us that having the right mobile strategy allows us the opportunity to build relationships and create long lasting brand loyalty and increase sales,” he said.

Final Take
Rebecca Borison is editorial assistant on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York

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Rebecca Borison is editorial assistant on Mobile Commerce Daily and Mobile Marketer. Reach her at

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