- Moe's Southwest Grill is promoting its barbecue burrito and bowl menu item with an influencer campaign on social video app TikTok. As part of the effort, the Focus Brands-owned chain is giving away kits with miniature picnic tables that are the perfect size to hold a burrito, per an announcement shared with Mobile Marketer.
- The picnic tables were made by Maria Trezza, a lunchroom and playground aid at an Illinois school who gained social media publicity for selling the outdoor furniture for squirrels while she was out of work during the coronavirus pandemic. The prize kit also includes a Moe's wearable napkin and a $25 gift card.
- TikTok personalities @ZachandErica, @Matt_and_Abby, @Kel.Nixon, @EthanTrace and @beard_gang_actual each will give away five of the prize kits to users of the social video app. Moe's also created an ambient playlist that fans can stream from YouTube to help pretend they're at a cookout.
Moe's campaign for its limited-time barbecue burrito aims to connect with TikTok users who follow social influencers on the video-sharing app. Influencer marketing helps to cut through ad clutter and reach consumers who don't typically pay attention to brands on social media.
By offering prizes that include a miniature picnic table, the fast-casual chain is leveraging the viral publicity that Maria Trezza received as people shared photos of squirrels using her handcrafted inventions. Meanwhile, the ambient playlist taps into the growing popularity of autonomous sensory meridian response (ASMR) experiences that people stream from sites like YouTube.
With the focus on TikTok, Moe's can reach a younger audience that's a key consumer segment for fast-casual restaurants. Moe's tends to overindex among consumers ages 24 to 54, and sees more than half of its sales during the lunch and dinner hours, according to Numerator data about the chain.
TikTok tends to appeal to teens and slightly older consumers, with only about 27% of users in the same age group, per data cited by Hootsuite. Forty-two percent of TikTok users are ages 18 to 24, the data indicate. TikTok's popularity among younger consumers has gained the attention of several brands, including Moe's rival Chipotle Mexican Grill, which was an early TikTok adopter and has run numerous campaigns on the platform, including last week's "Lunch & Listen" livestreamed session with influencers in celebration of Pride Month.
Moe's is running the campaign as it revamps its operations during the coronavirus pandemic, which led restaurants to depend more heavily on takeout and delivery services. Moe's this month opened its first kiosk-only restaurant that lets customers place an order for pickup from its service counter, helping to limit personal contact inside its restaurants. The company had previously planned to open kiosk-only restaurants during Q1.