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T.G.I. Fridays fuels summer campaign with continued mobile advertising investment

T.G.I. Fridays is delving further in mobile advertising with a new effort that highlights a summer campaign to find the next big musical star.

According to T.G.I. Fridays, the campaign?s use of mobile advertising builds on the restaurant?s launch of its mobile app from last year. The company is running expandable mobile ads within Cosmopolitan?s mobile site.

?Fridays has engaged in mobile advertising more heavily since we launched our mobile app in 2012 to better connect with our guests on the go,? said Shannon Gewinner, vice president of brand marketing for T.G.I. Fridays, Carrollton, TX.

?Following that success, we found that mobile also makes a lot of sense for our Red Hot Summer of Music program too, as it allows us to reach a wide variety of consumers at various points in their day,? she said.

?This promotion in particular has several opportunities for consumers to get involved ? from our Twitter picture sweepstakes to uploading and audition video, all of which are activities most people prefer to do from their mobile devices anyway.?

Mobile star
The ads read, ?Give someone a shot? and include a picture of the T.G.I. Fridays logo.

The ads leverage rich media to let consumers watch a 20-second video and encourage consumers to vote for their favorite aspiring artist to get a coaching session from musical artist Ne-Yo.

From there, consumers are taken to a Facebook app at ? ? that has also been optimized for mobile devices.

Via the site, consumers can upload an original video of themselves singing a cover version of an approved song.

Once a song is uploaded, voting is made open to the public, and submissions must be made by July 31.

The top three finalists in the campaign will win a trip to Washington to meet Ne-Yo. The grand prize winner will then receive a studio session with the musician and a $1,000 gift card.

T.G.I. Fridays is also aiming to grow its social media presence via the site with a button at the top of the page that lets consumers ?Like? the brand on Facebook.

Mobile advertising is a great way for T.G.I. Fridays to get the word out about this campaign since social and mobile go hand-in-hand.

Mobile past
T.G.I. Fridays began to ramp up its mobile strategy with its launch of its app that lets consumers place orders and pay their bill straight from their devices last year (see story).

Since then, the company has been trying out different marketing initiatives to update and promote the app.

Most recently, the company ran a campaign that included TV spots, radio ads, social media engagement and mobile integration to get consumers to use the app (see story).

?Mobile behaviors are evolving ? more than just accessing content from Fridays, mobile integration allows users to contribute their own content, ideas and opinions with very little effort,? Ms. Gewinner said.

"Because of this, Fridays? content is more participation-based and built not just on a one-way push from us, but includes our guests in the story as well,? she said. ?That?s really how we see consumers participating in this promotion and really encompasses the shared community and Friday feeling we strive for.?

Final Take
Lauren Johnson is associate reporter on Mobile Marketer, New York