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Wendy?s heats up mobile efforts via banner ads, check-ins

Fast food chain Wendy?s is ramping up its mobile initiatives with a campaign that drives in-store traffic and check-ins to promote a line of coffee and tea drinks.

The mobile banner ads are running inside the Pandora iPhone application. Wendy?s has been building up its mobile presence in the past year with a variety of mediums, including applications, advertising and QR codes.

?People who buy coffee out skew to smartphones, tend to be app users and make decisions about where to go get coffee while on the go,? said Brandon Rhoten, director of digital marketing at Wendy?s, Dublin, OH.

Mobile brew
The creative for the mobile ads features a photo of Wendy?s coffee products next to copy that reads, ?Fresh-Brewed All Day.?

Once users tap on the mobile banner ad, a landing page comes up that lets consumers either find their favorite flavor of coffee or find a nearby Wendy?s to check-in to.

When users tap on the ?Find your flavor? button, they can learn more about the four types of hot drinks being promoted, including hot and cold coffee and tea.

From there, buttons for Facebook and Twitter are prominently promoted at the bottom of the page. When clicked on, users can share content via the social networks that encourages consumers to visit a nearby Wendy?s to try the drink for themselves.

The check-in portion of the ad is powered through a Facebook app that uses a device?s built-in GPS to allow check-ins.

Wendy?s often uses check-ins in its campaigns to help close the loop on driving consumers to stores, per Mr. Rhoten.

?Click-throughs show someone is interested, and a mechanism that verifies a person actually came to the restaurant as a result of the ad is much more useful,? Mr. Rhoten said.

?It also gives us a tool to reward people for coming in,? he said.

The Wendy's ad ties in with a Facebook app

Mobile fast food
Wendy?s has been active in mobile this year.

Most recently, the company ran two QR code campaigns that use packaging to promote sweepstakes (see story).

Additionally, the fast food chain is using a mobile app to deliver nutrition information to consumers (see story).

The company has also used a variety of mobile advertising campaigns to promote new offerings.

The primary goal behind why many quick-service restaurants use mobile is to drive in-store traffic to try new products. Therefore, using mobile advertising lets marketers target campaigns around a group of consumers.

?Coffee, breakfast, a quick lunch or a quick dinner aren't heavily-considered or risky purchases,? Mr. Rhoten said.

?Given this, the decision where to go often happens very near the time and even physical location of purchase,? he said.

?Because mobile can often account for where a person is, what he or she is interested in, and the time of day, it makes a lot of sense to use mobile as a vehicle to deliver our message.?

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