ARCHIVES: This is legacy content from before Marketing Dive acquired Mobile Marketer in early 2017. Some information, such as publication dates, may not have migrated over. Check out the new Marketing Dive site for the latest marketing news.

Applebee?s consistent, interactive video experience across screens drives sales lift

A recent Applebee?s campaign exemplifies mobile video?s potential to build brand and drive sales when it is used as part of an interactive, consistent experience across devices, with the chain experiencing a 5 percent sales jump during the first week of the effort.

 Applebee?s leveraged YuMe?s new multi-screen video ad unit to target consumers searching for restaurants across television, smartphones, tablets and PC with a video experience showcasing the casual dining chain?s Flavors of Southwest entrees and offer of two meals for $20. With a 79 percent video completion rate, the effort points to how reaching consumers when they are seeking relevant content can help build brand.

?Mobile and Tablet Ngage leverages the social and exploratory behavior of users on these devices consumers via CTAs (Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Microsites) to learn more about the brand and share amongst their social graph. The branding slate was also optimized to each device,? said Jayant Kadambi, co-founder and CEO of YuMe

?Twenty percent of the overall campaign was dedicated to mobile,? he said.

Applebee?s worked with its media agency BPN and YuMe to build the campaign. 

Flavors of Southwest
By leveraging a video ad unit that delivers a consistent experience across screens, Applebee?s was able to tell a compelling brand story and drive consumers into nearby locations. 

The campaign focused on Applebee?s Flavors of Southwest menu items, Citrus Lime Sirloin, a new addition, and Chicken and Shrimp Tequila Tango.

The ad unit featured a 30-second pre-roll activated by the user and a branding slate showcasing the menu items.

Additionally, multiple social activity buttons were built in to encourage viewers to share the content and engage with the brand?s content on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube to learn more about the two for $20 menu options. 

All of this was delivered within the frame of a video player with the goal of driving viewers into the nearest restaurant.

The ads reached users at any time during the day while they were searching for a place to eat. 

Content consumption
The results include 65,899 added value impressions, 79 percent video completion rate, 7 percent interaction rate and more than 48,000 engagements across Applebee?s Facebook and Twitter channels

Additionally, there were 7,239 YouTube video views of the campaign and Applebee?s sales were up close to 5 percent during the first week of the campaign. 

With the growth in mobile adoption, consumers are increasingly conducting their restaurant searches from these devices at the moment they are interested in finding some place to eat.  

At the same time, video consumption on mobile is growing quickly.

A recent report from IDG Global Solutions found that 75 percent of consumers watch videos on their smartphones and 87 percent watching on tablets as opposed to desktop. The report also pointed to the need for brands to invest in quality social content and video with high production values to support their mobile strategies (see story). 

The campaign also points to how marketers are increasingly investing in multi-screen advertising campaigns as consumers? content consumption grows across screens.

Biting into mobile
Applebee?s has been pushing the envelope in mobile marketing for some time.

Earlier this month, Applebee?s teamed up with Pabst Blue Ribbon to create the Tap Room mobile SMS program, an opt-in offer service that rewards patronage and links with a user?s social network to reinforce the chain?s positioning as a neighborhood-bar (see story).  

Last year, the chain ran a location-based campaign within The Weather Channel?s iPhone app that encouraged consumers to visit its locations by incorporating menu items, a store locator and gift cards (see story).

?YuMe identified a growing need in the market to create one message across screens,? Mr. Kadambi said. ?Therefore, our internal teams needed to create a new SDK to support interactive ad units, and specifically, our Business Development team, needed to bring on the premium mobile and tablet publishers.?

Final Take
Chantal Tode is senior editor on Mobile Marketer, New York