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Pepsi Co., Arby's rely on SMS, mobile Web as summer sweepstakes drivers

Beverage giant Pepsi Co. and fast food chain Arby's have put mobile at the center of a new sweepstakes campaign that includes MMS, the mobile Web and social media.

Arby?s is using the campaign to reward lucky fans with concert tickets to see Trace Adkins, The All-American Rejects or Taio Cruz. In order to play, consumers can either text or email in pictures of the musical artists that are featured on Pepsi soft drink products at Arby?s.

?For the Arby's Snap and Rock promotion, it is about convenience and making it easy for customers to not only learn about the sweepstakes but also quickly enter by leveraging the mobile device as the primary method of entry,? said Bob Kraut, senior vice president of brand marketing and national advertising at Arby's Restaurant Group, Atlanta.

?Mobile continues to play a significant role in our marketing initiatives,? he said. ?We recognize that more content is being absorbed on a mobile device and it is important to create custom experiences that render accordingly and leverage native phone functionality to make it a good user experience overall.?

Instant win
The Snap and Rock campaign is running through September 15 at Arby?s locations.

The Arby?s cups feature three different musicians ? Trace Adkins, The All-American Rejects and Taio Cruz.

To participate, consumers use their device?s built-in camera phone to take a picture of their favorite musician. Users then send the message through a text message or email to .

Consumers who enter via SMS are then sent a link to enter to win the sweepstakes.

Additionally, each entry wins a smaller prize, such as free Arby?s food, music downloads or headphones. For instance, consumers are sent a code that can be redeemed in-store for their free food.

The mobile site also prompts users to enter the fast food chain?s loyalty program ? Arby?s Extras ? to receive email and SMS deals and offers.

Once consumers submit their photo, they can share it with friends and family through Facebook and Twitter.

In addition to sharing, the campaign also includes two Facebook games that users can play to learn more about how to play Snap and Rock.

From August 8 ? 14, consumers can also find an Arby?s coupon on the company's Facebook page for a roast beef sandwich and cup to let users play.

The Snap and Rock cups

Mobile ambitions
Pepsi has used MMS in the past to build consumer engagement with on-pack image recognition.

For example, last year the brand let consumers text in pictures of X Factor-themed Pepsi products for the chance to win a trip to see a live taping of the show (see story).

Arby?s has also been building its mobile repertoire recently by using SMS to drive awareness of the Arby?s Foundation to help connect communities this summer (see story).

Although smartphone adoption is continually growing, there are still many feature phone users, making MMS and mobile Web two mobile platforms with the greatest reach for marketers.

?As more content is consumed across mobile devices we recognize the importance to continue to invest in deeper mobile experiences to engage consumers with the brand,? Mr. Kraut said.

?Accordingly, we?ll likely see a blend of mobile activations that range from hyper-utility designed to perform a specific action to those that are more engaging and designed to excite and delight,? he said.

?Whatever the experience, mobile marketing and advertising alike will be a mainstay in the Arby's communication plan.?

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