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Denny’s leverages QR codes on menus to target The Hobbit fans

October 26, 2012

The Hobbit menus at Denny's feature QR codes

Family-style fast-food restaurant chain Denny’s is leveraging QR codes to deliver exclusive content from the upcoming film “The Hobbit” as part of larger promotion with Warner Bros. Pictures.

“The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” is set to release in theaters on Dec. 14. In advance of the theatrical release, Denny’s is offering new Hobbit-themed menu items, with QR codes appearing on placemat menus that link to an exclusive video, online games and other content.

“Mobile is a channel we will increasingly support moving forward,” said John Dillon, vice president of marketing at Denny’s, Spartanburg, SC.

“Earlier this year we introduced our first mobile app and have used QR codes in-store in the past to drive users to access the home page and Facebook pages for more information about Denny’s menu, locations and promotions,” he said.

“Our Hobbit campaign and accompanying QR codes allow us to give access to a much more robust array of content and really give our guests a new layer of the brand experience. QR codes are especially relevant in interacting with the next generation of Denny’s guests, specifically the younger demographic where social media and the mobile experience is an important part of their everyday lives.”

Hobbit cuisine
The new menu items will be available starting Nov. 6. They will include 11 new breakfast, lunch and dinner menu offerings such as the “Hobbit Hole Breakfast,” “Frodo’s Pot Roast Skillet,” and “Build Your Own Hobbit Slam.”

Denny’s customers who purchase select Hobbit-inspired entrees will also receive a card pack including exclusive collectible trading cards designed around the film and Denny’s coupons.

Customers will also be able to scan any of the four QR codes found on placemats. The 2D bar codes will link to an exclusive video, “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey,” a behind-the-scenes look at a new national TV spot and online games.

“QR codes are highly transactional and we saw an opportunity to use them in a very meaningful way to further connect and extend the guest experience with this new partnership,” Mr. Dillon said.

“With our Hobbit campaign, we want guests to ‘continue the journey’ at Denny’s,” he said. “To that end, we are giving guests access to great content – from exclusive behind the scenes footage from the TV ads to a wealth of Hobbit-themed games and even an exclusive video from Warner Brothers which gives a sneak peek into Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey movie production.”

Critical role
Prior to The Hobbit promotion, Denny’s used a teaser campaign featuring unbranded creative on outdoor boards in Los Angeles and online banner ads on Web sites to generate excitement.

The brand also engaged real-life fans of The Hobbit to appear in a national TV spot promoting the new menu, which will air beginning Nov. 12.

“While a lot of content is available on, some of the more exclusive pieces are unlocked in-store only, so mobile platforms play a critical role in delivering the Hobbit-themed content, as well as all of the other cool games and videos from Denny’s,” Mr. Dillon said.

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

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