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California Pizza Kitchen tosses up rewards via social scavenger hunt

California Pizza Kitchen is building on a recent push into social media by encouraging consumers to follow clues on Twitter or a mobile-optimized microsite and search for hidden pizza dough in 12 cities for a chance to win a year?s worth of pizza.

The brand is celebrating the start of college basketball season with a sports-inspired in-store promotion and a nationwide scavenger hunt aimed at bolstering rewards program membership. The ?Traveling Pizza Dough? campaign, which runs from March 2 to March 19, prompts pizza fans to follow California Pizza Kitchen?s official Twitter account to solve various clues hinting at where the hidden pizza dough may be found.

?We?re trying to engage our most loyal guests, and the guests who are on social media are the ones really immersed in the brand and the ones that get most excited about our promotions,? said Ashley Ceraolo, vice president of marketing, digital and social media at California Pizza Kitchen. ?This group is the first to mobilize with new activation announcements and share what they?re doing through social media to help spread the word to their friends and followers.?

Hidden in the details
To celebrate the kickoff of March Madness, California Pizza Kitchen is encouraging customers to get in the gaming spirit by partaking in two promotions. For the first campaign, the brand will be hiding pizza dough in secret locations in 12 cities.

California Pizza Kitchen will disperse clues to the dough?s whereabouts ? which may be at a landmark or common place of interest ? on Twitter and on the contest?s microsite, Fans must follow @calpizzakitchen, as well as the hashtag #pizzadoughlife, to keep up to date on all of the hints.

The first person to accurately guess the dough?s location will receive a year?s worth of free pizza.

?This is the first campaign that will engage consumers to go to a different location than their local California Pizza Kitchen restaurant,? Ms. Ceraolo said. ?Instead, this gets our guests walking around the city, finding historical landmarks and finding the CPK Pizza Box which has the grand prize ? free pizza for a year!

?We expect our fans to be excited about this fun engagement that keeps clues coming out multiple times a day. We expect that fans will be especially proud when their city and local landmarks are featured in the national CPK campaign.?

Slam-dunking loyalty
California Pizza Kitchen?s second March campaign has a strong loyalty focus and is geared toward retaining ? and rewarding ? existing fans. From now through March 20, customers who purchase three items off the Top 10 Fan Favorite menu at participating restaurants will earn $10 in Pizza Dough Rewards, which can be redeemed during future transactions.

The reward will be activated on members? Pizza Dough Rewards accounts, and will be available for redemption through April 10.

This campaign is likely to drive a slew of loyalty sign-ups, particularly among consumers who may want to pop into a California Pizza Kitchen prior to a March Madness game and enjoy a tableful of appetizers with friends.

The Pizza Dough Rewards program can be accessed via the brand?s mobile application for iOS and Android devices.

This does not mark the first time that the national chain is using mobile tactics to ramp up brand awareness among consumers.

Last fall, California Pizza Kitchen invited consumers to discover their pizza personality on a mobile and online platform, evoking the quizzes often seen on social media to drive sales for two-limited edition menu items (see story).

?Leveraging mobile strategy when connecting with our consumers is incredibly important, because 80 percent of our guests who currently connect with California Pizza Kitchen do so through their mobile devices,? Ms. Ceraolo said. ?We know when messages go out via mobile that they are actually reaching our guests.?