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Olive Garden drives traffic to locations via mobile initiative

October 11, 2011

Restaurant chain Olive Garden is dipping its toes in mobile via a new campaign that promotes the company’s never-ending pasta bowl and encourages consumers to try it at any of its locations.

The company is running mobile ads within Pandora’s iPhone app. The ads encourage consumers to learn more about Olive Garden’s never-ending pasta bowls.

“Savvy advertisers are using location-based mobile campaigns to drive users to their retail locations by improving targeting and pinpointing specific calls to action,” said Kevin McGuire, vice president of product at Motricity.

Mr. McGuire is not affiliated with Olive Garden. He commented based on his expertise on the subject.

Olive Garden did not respond by press time.

Food for thought
The Olive Garden mobile ad reads “Olive Garden: Never-Ending Pasta Bowl. All for $8.95. Tap for more.”

The mobile banner ad

When consumers tap on the mobile ad, they are redirected to a mobile landing page that features the pasta bowl dishes and the 42 different combinations that can be used.

Users can browse the menu, which lets them choose their pasta, including spaghetti, whole wheat linguine, linguine, fettuccine, penne, angel hair and orecchiette.

Additionally, customers can choose their ideal sauces including pizzaiola meat sauce, roasted mushroom parmesan, alfredo, meat sauce, marinara and five cheese marinara.

Consumers can browse the menu items

The Olive Garden mobile ad is an effective way to drive consumers to its locations.

Consumers always have their mobile device on-hand and serving a targeted ad helps highlight new products such as the never-ending pasta bowls.

Showing the menu is also a good thing because consumers can check out their options before going to any of the locations.

“Speaking more broadly, I believe location will be a game changer in mobile marketing and advertising, but it needs to be implemented thoughtfully to ensure users’ privacy and personal information isn’t violated,” Mr. McGuire said.

Final Take
Rimma Kats is staff reporter on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York

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Rimma Kats is associate editor on Mobile Commerce Daily and Mobile Marketer. Reach her at

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