- Denny's created accounts on video game platforms to connect with customers and offer them discounts on food. The casual dining chain's Dennys247 account is on Nintendo's Switch, Microsoft's Xbox and Sony's PS4, per information shared with Mobile Marketer.
- Fans immediately began to engage with the brand after its entry into the gaming world. Dennys247 reached the limit on Nintendo friends within its first 20 hours. After announcing its gaming account in an Instagram post, the brand saw a 26% engagement rate with more than 81,000 impressions on total engagements of almost 20,000. On Twitter, Dennys247 experienced a 15% engagement rate with about 154,000 impressions and total engagements of more than 23,000.
- Denny247 typically plays six to seven games with its fans in each two-hour gaming session. The brand's gamer friends have a chance to receive discount codes for its Denny's on Demand ordering platform, which includes Android and iOS mobile apps and a website.
Denny's new gaming accounts give the restaurant chain a way to engage a growing audience of gamers within multiplayer games and through social channels. Denny's scored strong engagement rates after posting its gaming handles on Instagram and Twitter, a significant indication of interest from gaming enthusiasts. As the company notes, more than 164 million U.S. adults play video games, while 75% of households have at least one gamer — a mass audience that Denny's seeks to engage.
The brand provides incentives to connect with its account on gaming platforms by handing out offer codes for its Denny's on Demand service, which has become a key sales channel as the coronavirus pandemic limits restaurants in many areas to delivery and takeout. The chain this month said its domestic same-store sales fell 19% in March from a year earlier, per a regulatory filing. The decline may be steeper in April as the first full month of restrictions on restaurants and other public gathering places, making Denny's digital presence more vital.
Denny's gaming foothold follows efforts by other brands to interact with customers on gaming platforms. Wendy's last fall was the first company to create branded video games in a digital arcade launched by Giphy, the platform of shareable GIF clips. It also created a branded avatar for the hit multiplayer game "Fortnite" that's popular with U.S. teens. Several months later, Wendy's ran a livestreamed campaign in a "Fortnite" gaming session to promote the launch of Baconfest.
Before the coronavirus pandemic led to lockdowns on restaurants throughout the country, Denny's worked with online review site Yelp to pilot a technology that measured foot traffic. Denny's other marketing efforts include last year's nationwide "See You at Denny's" campaign within a broader brand makeover. The chain remodeled 80% of its locations to create more comfortable dining spaces, while also using higher-quality menu ingredients and focusing on diversity, equality and inclusion initiatives. The rebranding followed an earlier effort to become more relevant among younger diners by reaching them through digital media platforms Hulu, Amazon and Pandora.