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BBQ chain begins Web polling

Restaurant chain Smokey Bones Barbeque & Grill is taking advantage of the excitement surrounding the presidential election by creating its own election online. On the restaurant’s Web site, consumers can vote for their favorite barbecue foods — for example, pulled pork, chicken or turkey — and a side dish “running mate,” such as baked beans or coleslaw.

“Our campaign is a playful nod to the election season,” said Pete Bell, VP of mar­keting at Smokey Bones, in an e-mail. “The interactive campaign takes the table-side experience of voting online so we can reach Smokey Bones fans everywhere.”

Beginning today, consumers can go to www.SmokeyBones.com to vote on their favorite meal combination until August 3. The vote is aimed to push these customized meal combinations, which sell for $9.99 at the restaurants’ various locations.

To get the word out about the promo­tion, Smokey Bones is sending out e-mails, running display ads and running radio promos in select markets. The idea is to reach a “broad demographic of existing fans and new customers for the Smokey Bones experience,” said Bell.

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