Mellow Mushroom Takes A Slice Out of Mobile

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Mellow Mushroom Takes A Slice Out of Mobile
Mellow Mushroom Takes A Slice Out of Mobile

It's no secret that today's consumers are hungry for mobile. Casual dining pizza chain Mellow Mushroom partnered with Coca-Cola and multichannel engagement agency ePrize to serve up a mobile campaign that drove brand engagement and sales.

The Mellow Mushroom Summer Happiness campaign, which launched July 29 and ran until August 31, was part of Coca-Cola's “Share Happiness,” promotion—a campaign done in partnership with Live Nation. Consumers who purchased a Coca-Cola beverage at any one of Mellow Mushroom's 154 locations were given a scratch card with a short code on it. Participants could then text “Mellow” to the short code provided for the chance to win an instant prize, such as a Mellow Mushroom gift card or Live Nation Concert Cash, as well as an entry to win two tickets to the 2013 American Music Awards. Participants could also enter the sweepstakes by scanning a QR code or by visiting the mobile optimized microsite.

Annica Kreider, VP of brand development for Mellow Mushroom, says consumers strongly preferred to enter the sweepstakes via mobile. In fact, 95% of registrants entered promotional codes via SMS, and more than 20% of all registrants scanned QR codes. At the time of the interview, more than 47,500 unique consumers had registered in total. Meredith Hillman, account director and VP of ePrize, says SMS campaigns allow both smartphone and feature phone users to participate.

In addition, Kreider says more consumers are accessing the brand's site via mobile devices than ever before. Back in February, mobile accounted for 39% of the restaurant chain's overall web traffic; however, mobile traffic shot up to more than 50% by June, she says. Mellow Mushroom continues to develop its mobile optimized site, including adding a mobile nutrition calculator, she notes.

“It's very affirming how incredibly open [consumers] are to mobile as a platform,” Kreider says. “We know people are using their mobile devices to access Mellow Mushroom information, but this really affirmed how much they were also willing to use their mobile device to interact with the brand.”

Besides the SMS campaign, Mellow Mushroom launched a “Spin the Coke Bottle” digital table top game. Players who scan a QR code or access the game via the brand's mobile optimized site receive conversation starters and trivia questions about Coca-Cola and Mellow Mushroom sent to their phones.

But the Mellow Mushroom Summer Happiness campaign isn't the pizza chain's first dive into mobile. The brand launched an in-store photo contest earlier this year in which fans could upload photos via Instagram or a landing page. According to Mellow Mushroom, more than 70% of participants uploaded photos via a mobile device. Mellow Mushroom now includes hashtags on any in-store or print materials, Kreider says.

In terms of future mobile developments, Kreider says she would like to experiment with augmented reality. She says the brand had planned on incorporating augmented reality into the Mellow Mushroom Summer Happiness campaign, but wasn't able to do so due to time restraints.

“The great news is you have a captive audience at the restaurant so while they're waiting for their food,” Kreider says. “It gives them another way to engage with the brand.”

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