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Olive Garden steers consumers to restaurants with location-based mobile campaign

By
February 11, 2013

Restaurant chain Olive Garden is making location a major focal point in a mobile advertising campaign to get consumers to try out a line of low-calorie entrees.

Olive Garden is using a few different advertising creatives to drive awareness for five entrees that are less than 575 calories. The ads are running in the NBC 4 New York iPhone application.

“The Olive Garden mobile ad campaign is solidly executed,” said Simon Buckingham, CEO of Appitalism, New York.

“Since one of the primary objectives of the campaign is to get people to visit the restaurant locations, it makes perfect sense to include the tap-to-map option,” he said.

“The “Taste the lighter side of delicious” primary campaign message that links to their lower calorie menu options is also well-executed as it includes compelling meal images and specific calorie count information.”

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

Olive Garden did not respond to press inquiries.

Mobile driver
Mobile banner ads are running along the bottom of the news app that encourage users to click with copy that reads, ‘Taste the lighter side of delicious.’

A call-to-action to view either a map or menu is placed in the bottom right-hand corner of the banner ad.

When consumers tap on the ad with the map call-to-action, a landing page comes up that pulls in content from Google Maps. From there, consumers can view a map with the nearest Olive Garden restaurant based on their device’s built-in GPS.

Since the goal here is to drive consumers to check-out the menu items for themselves, a location-based advertising campaign is a great way for Olive Garden to drive consumers to its locations.

The banner ad with the call-to-action to view a menu triggers a landing page to load that promotes all of Olive Garden’s lower-calorie meals. Consumers can swipe through a photo gallery to check out all the different options and learn the nutritional information for each meal.

Mobile past
Olive Garden has relied on mobile advertising in the past to drive foot traffic.

Last year, the company ran a mobile advertising campaign to promote a limited-time offer. Although the company was smart to use mobile to push a time-sensitive message, the campaign lacked a call-to-action involving location (see story).

With this campaign, Olive Garden is stepping up its mobile advertising initiatives by putting location at the center of its ad.

“This campaign will certainly encourage consumers to go Olive Garden,” Mr. Buckingham said.

“The Olive Garden ad is pretty simple and focused, which is ideal for mobile advertising campaigns since you are dealing with limited screen space – they know their key objectives and deliver against them,” he said.

Final Take
Lauren Johnson is associate reporter on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York

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