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Denny’s, Taco Bell, Walgreens use mobile coupons to drive consumers in-store

September 17, 2009

tacoDenny’s, Taco Bell and Walgreens are offering consumers mobile coupons within the My Coupons application for Android-enabled phones.

Coupons within the application can be targeted to specific regions or ZIP codes based upon the user’s GPS coordinates. Taco Bell is making use of this feature by directing users to localized franchise locations in Illinois and Missouri.

“Our strategy first and foremost is to provide both a fiscal solution via money saving discounts, as well as present opportunities in such a way as to invite users to explore alternative retail/entertainment venues within their travel vicinity they may not otherwise have considered,” said Aaron Radczynski, CEO of DDI, Roselle, IL.

DDI created the My Coupons application.

Taco Bell is running coupons within the application that offer Illinois and Missouri residents a free birthday combo-meall.

Other Taco Bell offers include a free Burrito Supreme with the purchase of a second Burrito Supreme and a drink.

Users of the application can also get a coupon for a free Mexican Pizza with the purchase of a second Mexican Pizza and a drink.

Denny’s is offering application users free pancake puppies with any breakfast order.

Walgreens’ coupon is letting consumers get a roll of 35mm film developed free on Wednesdays.

“[The application] opens avenues of opportunity to [brands] seeking foot traffic or brand awareness, because as we are a position-based service we are enabling not only the company as a whole to benefit, but granularized locally to specific regions and individual stores,” Mr. Radczynski said.

“Our application engages the consumer with retailers on an intimate level, while maintaining this unobtrusive balance of marketing suggestions and entertainment options that our users seek,” he said.

Other brands offering coupons within the application include Express, El Pollo Loco, Bath and Body Works, Fannie Mae, Aldo, Papa John’s, Quizno’s, Mimi’s Cafe, Carrabba’s Italian Grill, Office Depot, Firestone, Dressbarn, The Children’s Place and Waffle House.

My Coupons allows for bar code scanning and has built-in bar code generating technology that allows coupons to be saved or shared, then presented during checkout. 

Making the coupon a one-time usage offer is possible through serial number encoded coupons, further affording advertisers the opportunity to track returns on their advertising.

Throughout all of 2009, My Coupons has maintained its position within the top 20 applications of the entire Google marketplace, beating out several free applications produced by Google itself. 

Mr. Radczynski said that word-of-mouth advertising has built the application into what it is today.

The application’s user base is made up of deal-conscious consumers checking their phone while shopping and eating to see if they can find a discount. 

Many of the application’s users have previously shied away from the hassle or perceived stigma of using paper coupons, Mr. Radczynski said.

Well-known restaurants are offering free entrees and appetizers within the application. There are also free samples and today-only deals.

Users are able to SMS and email the discounts to friends and family whether the recipient may have the software installed or not. This is working as a promotional tool for the application.

“The appeal of the software revolves around our ability to not only offer trusted recommendations but also bridging the gap when it comes time to comparison shop,” Mr. Radczynski said. “Offering alternative pricing for specific products scanned into the application allows competitive pricing to prevail at a moment’s notice. 

“As additional localized retailers come aboard as options presented to our users when he/she is prepared to make a purchase, it will only enhance the staying power the app is generating within the consumer mindset,” he said. 

The company has fielded conversations from satisfied users exclaiming how it is quickly becoming second nature in a retail establishment to check their phone before checking out.

The application aims to maintain this environment.

Releases of new Android-based phones from Motorola and LG will likely spike the application’s user base, as more consumers will have access to the Android application store.

“We’re a trusted friend to our many hundreds of thousands of daily users, and we’re adding several thousand new users each day,” Mr. Radczynski said.  “Maintaining this trust is our crucial for the exponentially expansive growth anticipated this holiday season.”

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

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