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Wendy's bets on Vine to harness brand enthusiasts

Wendy?s is incentivizing consumers with prizes in exchange for uploading short mobile video clips as part of a promotion for the brand?s flatbread sandwiches.

The quick-service restaurant?s ?6 seconds flat? campaign promotes the brand?s asiago ranch and smoky honey mustard flatbread sandwiches. Wendy?s has been blurring mobile and social media together for some time now as the company looks to reach tech-savvy consumers.

?We saw lots of people talking about flatbread via Vine and Instagram video when we launched the product several months ago, so we wanted to organize some of that enthusiasm,? said Brandon Rhoten, vice president of digital and social media at Wendy?s, Dublin, OH.

?The sandwich is pretty awesome; why not let people share their love with the world?? he said.

?As far as the connection between social and mobile, they're one in the same. Facebook, Twitter and just about every other social platform will tell you that if you don't think mobile is the way most people will consume social content you're kidding yourself. Social, by its real-time nature and how frequently people interact with it each day, is inherently mobile.?

How it works
A dedicated microsite for the campaign is set up at and is optimized for mobile.

Consumers are then prompted to take a quick mobile video that explains what they think about the new sandwiches and include the #6SecondsFlat hashtag for a chance at winning a $6,000 American Express gift card.

Videos can be uploaded via the Vine and Instagram mobile applications or through Twitter.

The site also lets consumers click on the videos that are promoted on the site to watch the six- or 15-second clip.

Wendy?s is also driving foot traffic with a call-to-action at the bottom of the page that directs consumers to the company?s mobile site, where they can find a nearby store.

Wendy?s is running expandable ads within the Pandora iPhone app to promote the campaign. When consumers click on the ad, they are redirected to Wendy?s microsite.

The company is also promoting the sweepstakes via social media, on the brand?s Web site and through media buys with partners including Facebook.

The 6 seconds flat campaign runs through Sept. 29.

Past efforts
This is not the first time that Wendy?s has leveraged mobile and social together to promote its flatbread sandwiches.

Earlier this year, Wendy?s launched a social media and mobile contest that encouraged consumers to snap pictures of the sandwiches to win $1,000, and a new consumer won the prize every day that the campaign ran (see story).

Wendy?s has also used mobile in the past year to close the loop on in-store traffic with incentivized check-ins through mobile advertising and QR codes.

Last year, the company placed QR codes on bags that were tied to a location-based campaign that encouraged consumers to check-in to locations (see story).

?A marketing program without digital, social and mobile is missing out on how people live their lives,? Mr. Rhoten said.

?We need to be where people are making decisions about where to go to lunch or dinner, and more often than not, people are using digital channels to help make those decisions, often with friends on social networks and while on the go using a mobile device,? he said. ?That doesn't mean offline channels go away, we just think about it in context of the way everyone lives their lives.?

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