- Chipotle will run a TikTok campaign around Super Bowl Sunday, one of the busiest days of the year for meal deliveries, that intends to disrupt the big game viewing experience, according to news shared with Mobile Marketer.
- Called "TikTok Timeout," the effort taps a number of popular creators on the app, including David Dobrik and Zach King, who will share sponsored content every time a team timeout is called during the showdown between the San Francisco 49ers and Kansas City Chiefs. Searchable through the hashtag #TikTokTimeout, the posts call out Chipotle's delivery options and will each feature Justin Bieber's new single "Yummy."
- The Mexican fast-casual chain is looking to specifically engage Gen Zers, per the release, and to compete with traditional advertisements running around the big game. The campaign ties to a broader delivery push from Chipotle, which is offering free delivery on all orders of $10 or more placed through its app or website every Sunday through Feb. 23.
Chipotle is betting that football fans — and particularly Gen Zers, who account for 40% of all U.S. consumers, according to estimates cited by the brand — will be spending a good deal of their time browsing apps on their smartphones during the Super Bowl and its commercial breaks. The campaign shows how marketers are more often leveraging mobile to drive engagement or an action, like placing an order for delivery, around major events without actually having to make a pricey TV buy.
"The second screen is essential to the modern-day football viewing experience for Gen-Z," Chipotle CMO Chris Brandt said in a statement. "TikTok Timeout allows us to show up where our target audience is and optimize the entertainment value of the evening by delivering them fresh content featuring their favorite creators."
For Chipotle, delivery has become an increasingly important way to support growth and meet a demand for digital convenience in the era of platforms like DoorDash and Grubhub.
Fox, which is broadcasting Super Bowl LIV, reportedly commanded up to $5.6 million per 30-second TV spot and quickly sold out of ad slots as brands jumped at the opportunity to get in front of millions of eyeballs. Chipotle could divert some of that attention working with TikTok, one of the fastest-growing apps in the U.S. and a favorite among teens and young adults. Chipotle was early to experiment with the social video app owned by Chinese startup ByteDance, including through a lid flip challenge it deployed to viral success last year.
Distracting people from their TV screens during the Super Bowl could still prove a challenge, as it's one of the few media stages many people tune in to specifically to watch commercials. Chipotle is leaning into the influence of nearly a dozen TikTok creators and interest in the new Justin Bieber single to give its campaign a bigger edge.
A sort of guerilla mobile strategy around big sporting events isn't new to Chipotle. For the close of basketball season last year, the company ran a promotion that doled out free burritos every time the word "free" was said during NBA game broadcasts. Because Chipotle is not an official league sponsor, the brand used a mix of Twitter and SMS-based marketing to draw viewer interest.
Correction: In a previous version of this story, influencer Addison Rae's role in the promotion was misstated based on incorrect information provided to Mobile Marketer. A Chipotle representative said she is no longer associated with the effort.