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What White Castle could have done to make its mobile ad campaign successful

White Castle

White Castle’s mobile advertising campaign clearly aims to engage new and existing customers by offering them the ability to order food through their handsets. However, by leading users to an unoptimized landing page, the fast food giant missed its goals due to poor execution.

White Castle is running mobile video and expandable ads within Pandora. In addition to letting consumers order their food, the company is also promoting its branded radio station within the app.

“Relevant location ads can definitely drive traffic to stores and restaurants like White Castle,” said Saju Thomas, product manager at Picksie.

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“While having an optimized link to the advertisement would have been preferable, the main objective was to get consumers in their locations.”

Mr. Thomas is not affiliated with White Castle. He commented based on his expertise on the subject.

White Castle did not respond to press inquiries.

Mobile standard
The expandable mobile ad promotes White Castle’s 20 chicken rings for $4.99 and encourages consumers to tap on the ad to order the food.

When consumers taps on the mobile ad they are redirected to White Castle’s Web site and need to pinch and zoom to read the content on the page.

The unoptimized landing page

Additionally, the company’s Web site is promoting its online ordering mobile app. However, when consumers tap to download it, it is only available on Android and Windows Phone devices.

The video and mobile ads White Castle is running is on Pandora’s iPhone app.

While the intention of the mobile ad is good – letting on-the-go hungry consumers order food – the execution is not.

The entire campaigns centers around letting consumers order food from their mobile devices, however, they are unable to do so through the ad.

Expect more
Nowadays, users expect a lot more out of their mobile experiences and by creating challenges for them – making them pinch-and-zoom – White Castle has clearly missed the mark.

The company should have tested the campaign to make sure that it was mobile-friendly.

For example, although White Castle does not have a mobile ordering iPhone app, it could have created a mobile-optimized landing page that lets consumers place their food orders.

Mobile ordering is already big in the mobile space and will continue grow in the coming years. It is smart that White Castle saw the trend and is staying on top of it.

However, the campaign would have been more successful if the entire process was fully mobile-optimized.

“If you happen to see an ad and it creates a craving, the ad has been successful, especially if you are located near one of their locations,” Mr. Thomas said.

While White Castle should maybe take a look at their mobile optimized, I believe the advertisement is still a great idea,” he said. 

“I believe the best situation would be to see an advertisement that then props you directly to the mobile ordering app, creating a direct connection between the ad and a sale.”

Associate Editor Rimma Kats covers media, television, research and social networks. Reach her at rimma@mobilemarketer.com.

Related content: Advertising, White Castle, Pandora, mobile ordering, Saju Thomas, Picksie, mobile marketing, mobile

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Comments on "What White Castle could have done to make its mobile ad campaign successful"

  1. Alex Kutsishin says:

    April 25, 2012 at 11:23am

    This is certainly not the first time this has happened. We've seen similar misuse of mobile ads that launched non-mobile optimized sites over and over again, resulting in tons of lost customers. Back in February Boar's Head did the exact same thing: http://bit.ly/JGaiNq Going mobile has never been easier, nor has it been more important to do so, and both small and major market companies need to do so like yesterday!
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