Denny's rewards loyal fans with free Grand Slams for life, other tasty prizes

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Denny's new menu invites diners to taste regional American cuisine though a contest and mobile app
Denny's new menu invites diners to taste regional American cuisine though a contest and mobile app

The Offer: To spread the word about its new “Tour of America” menu, family restaurant Denny's, its agency of record Gotham Inc., and mobile app developer RAIN, is asking customers to participate in an interactive contest that will reward the first person to check into a Denny's in all 50 states with a savory prize: free Grand Slam breakfasts for life. Players can also group together into teams of three to earn badges and accumulate visits.

The first team to visit a Denny's location in every state across the nation will be rewarded with free Grand Slams for a year. The more states visited, the better the prizes. Launched on June 5, the new Denny's menu includes such offerings as the Midwestern meat and potatoes sandwich, the Philly cheesesteak omelet, and the Florida orange milkshake.

The Data: Denny's Foursquare-like mobile app, its first, is free and available for iPhones and Android devices. Besides check-in features, the app also allows users to view the new menu and nutritional information, locate the nearest restaurant, and peruse the latest specials.

The Channel: The campaign leverages mobile, email, and social elements. Denny's also revamped its website and optimized its mobile experience in conjunction with the integrated campaign.

The Creative: Denny's commissioned artwork from Nashville-based Anderson Design Group for a series of limited edition posters depicting American landscapes in the style of vintage 1940s travel posters.

The Verdict:

Margaret Johnson is executive creative director and associate partner at Goodby, Silverstein & Partners in San Francisco. In her 14 years with the agency, she has worked on multiple high-profile accounts, including Budweiser, Hewlett-Packard, Nintendo, Nike, Yahoo, and Sonic. Read our Q&A with Margaret for more.

I applaud Denny's for recognizing that consumers aren't going to download a mobile app unless there's something in it for them. But with the average life expectancy being 78.1 years, and the Grand Slam coming in at 795 calories, it just might be an app that I could live without.

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