- Chipotle Mexican Grill reached more than 95 million people on social video app TikTok with a branded hashtag challenge during the Super Bowl that starred singer Justin Bieber and social influencers, per information shared with Mobile Marketer. The "TikTok Timeout" challenge urged people to create their own "February Free Delivery Sundays" ads set to Bieber's latest song "Yummy."
- The campaign also generated 2.5 million engagements after Bieber shared details with his more than 230 million fans on Twitter and Instagram. Influencers David Dobrik, Zach King, Avani, Brittany Broski, Joshua Sadowski, Joey Klaasen, Nick Uhas, Zahra, Kyle Shaffer, GregTube, Thomas Petrou, Piff Peterson, Madd Chadd, Alex Warren, KevBoyPerry, Kouvr and Nick Austin also participated in the campaign.
- The influencers shared sponsored content every time a team timeout was called during the showdown between the San Francisco 49ers and Kansas City Chiefs. Their videos, which were searchable with the #TikTokTimeout hashtag, highlighted Chipotle's delivery service. Chipotle reports Q4 results today.
Chipotle's branded hashtag challenge on TikTok generated significant traffic for the fast-casual restaurant chain as millions of people spent time browsing apps on their smartphones during the Super Bowl. The campaign showed how marketers are using mobile platforms to drive engagement or an action such as a delivery order during major televised events without spending as much as $5.6 million on a 30-second TV commercial.
Fox's audience for the game totaled 102 million viewers, including its Spanish-language channel and digital platforms, per Nielsen data cited by The Wall Street Journal. Data shared by Chipotle suggests the brand reached a similarly sized audience on TikTok, although it's not clear how the metrics are comparable.
By running a campaign on TikTok, Chipotle is more likely to reach younger mobile consumers who have spearheaded growth in food-delivery apps like Uber Eats, Grubhub and DoorDash. Digital restaurant orders in the U.S. grew 23% in four years to total $26.8 billion, per estimates by NPD Group, as customers seek greater convenience in their dining options.
Chipotle was one of the first brands to experiment with branded hashtag challenges on TikTok, which is owned by Chinese startup ByteDance. The burrito chain's lid flip challenge last year generated millions of views and spurred widespread engagement with on-the-go users. Its subsequent #GuacDance challenge broke records with 250,000 video submission and 430 million video starts. The challenges highlighted how younger audiences participate in branded campaigns instead of passively watching traditional ads on TV.
Like its "TikTok Timeout," Chipotle has employed similar counterprogramming strategies during big sporting events. The company last year ran a promotion for free burritos every time the word "free" was said during select NBA broadcasts.