- Wingstop Restaurants Inc. launched a special toll-free hotline to help people "looking to step up their romance game" for Valentine's Day, along with a "wing luv kit" of snacks, according to a press release by the company.
- Those who call the 1-844-WING-LUV hotline can hear Valentine's night tips, a vocal warm-up routine, wing presentation advice, a special holiday mixtape and a hotline rep "talk saucy," per the release. By pressing 0, callers can get information about pre-ordering a $25 wing luv kit, which includes a heart-shaped box with a gift card, holiday cards and the tools to create a wing bouquet, such as skewers, decorative cellophane, tissue paper, ribbon and instructions. Wingstop is offering free shipping on the kits through Feb. 12, though the kit is available until Feb. 14.
- To announce the hotline and limited-edition kit, Wingstop posted a 15-second video featuring saxophone-heavy music and rose pedals falling onto wings behind a flashing hotline number. The company also released an extended video of a man texting the "wingbot" to get emergency wings delivered via drone. He presents the heart-shaped box of wings and an engagement ring to his girlfriend, who brushes aside the ring to get to the wings.
Forgoing the traditional red roses and heart-shaped boxes of chocolate, Wingstop is taking a quirky, if not gimmicky, approach to its Valentine's Day promotion this year. The campaign is likely to appeal to loyal customers. By adding the interactive hotline to dish out relationship and romance advice alongside humorous videos, Wingstop appears to also be reaching for a millennial audience, a consumer group that fast-food marketers have been struggling to engage in recent years. Millennials' more health-conscious eating habits and Americans' evolving diets have quick service restaurants and fast food chains looking for creative ways to reel in customers.
Wingstop's exclusive mixtape and "saucy" hotline messages will likely create memorable and shareable experiences, driving organic shares on social media. Younger, social media-savvy consumers seek out and reward brands that offer unique experiences. Millennials are also more responsive than other generations to short social videos, like the one Wingstop created to announce the promotion.
Wingstop has made smart plays with social media stunts of late. In October, the company started a Twitter rap battle with burger chain Wendy's after it posted a tweet playing off the song "Bad and Boujee," prompting a follower to call out Wendy's and set off a back-and-forth. The stunt racked up 9 million impressions and 72,000 retweets for Wingstop.
Meanwhile, White Castle is one model for longstanding quirky Valentine's Day promotions. For almost 30 years, the fast food brand has hosted a holiday dinner with table service, decorations and a special menu. This year, the company is bringing the tradition into the digital age by allowing consumers to make reservations via OpenTable, creating a holiday-themed Snapchat geofilter and encouraging diners to take photos and post them on social media with the hashtag #whitecastle.