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B.R. Guest LBS ads for restaurants see 5 percent response rate

B.R. Guest Restaurants' location-based mobile ads aimed at driving foot traffic to its Vento Trattoria and Wildwood Barbeque restaurants is claimed to have achieved a 5 percent response rate or more on some days.

The chain tapped mobile advisory firm Mella Media to develop a targeted, hyper-local mobile program to access the 25-to-40-year-old audience of mobile social mapping network Loopt, specifically concentrated in the New York area. The ability to reach this active network in the flow of their daily lives via mobile was an ideal match to B.R. Guest's business goals.

?By working with Loopt to proactively address the client?s No. 1 goal?to grab potential customers? attention while they were close enough to one of their New York-based restaurants to drive immediate foot traffic?Mella Media showed B.R. Guest Restaurants how smart mobile tactics can play directly to their primary marketing strategies,? said Jordan Greene, principal of mobile at Mella Media, New York.

?This scenario presented the opportunity to deliver what turned out to be the first truly hyper-local mobile advertising campaign in the U.S.,? he said. ?We had been working with Loopt for a while, looking for the right opportunity to launch a pilot program that would be able to tap into Loopt?s valuable social media audience in the NYC area."

B.R. Guest is a high-end restaurant group featuring 16 restaurants in New York, Las Vegas and Chicago.

The company's owned-and-operated restaurants include 675 Bar, Atlantic Grill, Blue Fin, Blue Water Grill, Dos Caminos, Fiamma Trattoria, Isabella?s, Ocean Grill, Primehouse New York, Ruby Foo?s Time Square, Vento Trattoria and Wildwood Barbeque. Many of them are in New York.

With the Mella Media campaign, in addition to viewing friends? locations, Loopt users were able to see the closest B.R. Guest restaurants in multiple interactive formats.

By touching any ad unit, the consumer could call the restaurant directly, review the menu or map the location, in addition to seeing unique offers.

Mella Media shaped each aspect of consumer engagement, working with Loopt for several months to determine what localized mobile advertising should look like and how and where it should be deployed.

Just as location-based services are the driving force behind Loopt?s exponential growth, it proves to be the ideal platform for the right campaign, according to Mella Media.

Every ad placement was designed to include an exclusive mobile offer for complimentary items at the client?s restaurants - for example, free dessert at Dos Caminos with the purchase of an entrée and a free milkshake at Bill?s Bar & Burger.

The banner ads, which appeared on both Loopt?s map and list views, were written with clear, appropriate mobile language such as ?Press for Complimentary Dessert with Entrée.?

The mechanism for redemption is simple, with users mentioning to their server the code in the ad detail.

Be our guest
B.R. Guest was pleased with consumers? response to the campaign, according to Mella Media.

For example, some restaurants were able to achieve a response rate higher than 5 percent on certain days.

Interestingly?although perhaps a phenomenon unique to a city such as New York?there was a significant amount of activity on Thanksgiving Day, Mr. Greene said.

?This type of campaign is highly dependent on location and timing, and together, we made advertising based on proximity a reality for the client,? Mr. Greene said. ?And due to the sizeable number of restaurants in the B.R. Guest stable, we were able to offer true relevance throughout Manhattan.

?When this type of advertising is done well, it feels much more like a service to the consumer, rather than just a promotion,? he said.