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Wendy's taps QR codes to boost daily sweepstakes campaign

Wendy?s is placing QR codes on its packaging to help drive awareness of the company's new sweepstakes promotion.

The QR codes are placed on cartons of french fries and are part of a national campaign to promote Heinz?s new dip and squeeze ketchup packets. Wendy?s has been using a variety of campaign-specific mobile bar codes recently to boost user engagement.

?The goal is to drive awareness of the new Heinz packets and to pair this with our natural cut, sea salt fries. Both are not your typical fast-food experience,? said Brandon Rhoten, director of digital marketing at Wendy?s, Dublin, OH.

QR [codes] make sense when we have something specific that's mobile friendly ? typically something very specific,? he said. ?For example, we wouldn't use a QR to link to, but we would use it to link to a specific YouTube video or mobile Web site with a game on it.?

?We think QRs are often misused as a replacement for a URL. You need to have something of value on the other end. And we almost always include a short, easy URL as well, for those who don't to scan the QR.?

Wendy?s claims to be the world?s third-largest hamburger company with 6,500 company and franchise restaurants in 27 countries and United States territories.

Dipping into mobile
Wendy?s is using the mobile bar codes as part of a daily sweepstakes that lets users scan to win prizes including Visa and Wendy?s gift cards, cash and one grand prize of a $100,000 sweepstakes.

When users scan the QR code via their smartphone, they are directed to a mobile landing page where consumers must enter their email address to be entered into the sweepstakes.

 From there, a landing page loads where consumers choose if they are either a ?dipper? or ?squeezer.? A final page asks users to pick a package of ketchup, which is linked with a prize.

Consumers can additionally enter by typing the URL into their browsers.

The campaign runs through Oct. 15.

Wendy?s also recently placed mobile bar codes on bags for a location-based campaign that rewarded consumers who scanned and checked-into locations with the chance to win prizes (see story).

Wendy?s is only one of the many quick-service restaurants experimenting with mobile bar codes. McDonald?s, KFC and Taco Bell are all examples of brands that have used on-pack QR codes to increase products? engagement.

In this case, tying the campaign to a daily sweepstakes is a smart way to give users an incentive for scanning a QR code. Additionally, the daily component will most likely cause repeat purchases from consumers.

Mobile nutrition
Besides QR codes, Wendy?s is also putting a strong emphasis on its new nutrition application.

In July, the brand rolled out the My Wendy?s iPhone and Android app that lets users create personalized orders based on nutrition information from the menu (see story).

Going forward, Wendy?s is looking for more in-store activations that will build on the app.

?We have many tests running right now to optimize our .com and social experiences on mobile and have included mobile Web sites and games in many campaigns in 2012,? Mr. Rhoten said.
?People have and use their smartphones when they're thinking about breakfast, lunch and dinner, so we need to provide information and tools to help them choose,? he said. ?And we believe good food and the information to make decisions about that food should be accessible to everyone, even if you don't use a desktop computer."

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