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Taco Bell, Pizza Hut multichannel campaign taps mobile for engagement

April 7, 2010

voting-signTaco Bell and Pizza Hut are going head-to-head in a mobile voting campaign, letting Western Kentucky University students decide which restaurant will be built near their campus.

Fugate Enterprises, which operates Pizza Hut and Taco Bell locations is promoting the campaign to students through marketing initiatives provided by United Marketing Communications. The campaign runs through April 17.

“Mobile really is the best personalized, direct channel,” said Pierre Barbeau, CEO of Moblico, Kansas City, MO. “Nowadays just about every college student has a cell phone they are texting on, so we are expecting this promotion to attract a lot of participants.

United Marketing Communications provides media services, field marketing and traffic-driving promotions for retail operators.

Text for a food chain
Students are encouraged to text the keyword WKU4PH – if they want to vote for Pizza Hut – or WKU4TB for Taco Bell to short code 32075.

There will be banners marketing the campaign displayed at the University’s baseball games.

Additionally, there are giveaways that feature printed information about the campaign, that help notify students about their chance to vote.  


Cast a vote
Moblico Solutions, which provides integrated mobile offerings, is managing the voting process for the campaign.

Once a vote is cast, a confirmation message is sent back indicating that a vote for Pizza Hut or Taco Bell was recorded.

This is not Pizza Hut’s first foray into mobile. The company recently launched an augmented reality-based iPhone application.

The application features a GPS store locator and an augmented reality mobile platform. The application uses the iPhone camera, GPS and compass to display annotations on top of the real-world view.

Consumers are able to find the closest Pizza Hut store near them and order and pick up a pizza (see story).

In addition, last year, Taco Bell offered mobile coupons within the My Coupons application for Android users.

The company used the service to direct consumers to its Illinois and Missouri locations and offered residents a free birthday combo-meal (see story).

“Fugate is spreading the word in a few ways through United Media Communications,” Mr. Barbeau said. “These include billboards, marketing at sporting events, newspaper ads, contest-branded giveaways and campus banners.”

“Moblico has been providing successful mobile business solutions to a variety of brands and United Marketing Communications has been delivering specialized marketing for the restaurant industry,” Mr. Barbeau said. “Fugate is one of the top franchisees for Taco Bell and Pizza Hut, so we figured they’d be the perfect fit for such a promotion, especially given the demographic they are seeking.”

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

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