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Buffalo Wild Wings pushes wings and flavors via new SCVNGR campaign

Restaurant chain Buffalo Wild Wings Inc. is working with game service SCVNGR to launch a new mobile marketing campaign to increase consumer activity and maintain brand engagement.

This campaign, Buffalo Wild Wings’ second with SCVNGR’s, was initiated based on the success of its first promotional effort called the “Home Court Advantage” that resulted in the completion of 1 million challenges. Thousands of unique users are said to have created and mastered challenges on mobile devices nationwide, resulting in increased visits to Buffalo Wild Wings locations.

“Buffalo Wild Wings has very social and progressive technology and [they were] looking for ways to show that,” said Chris Mahl, senior vice president and chief brand alchemist at SCVNGR, Cambridge, MA.

“It’s got a lot of play characteristics: it’s a sports bar, it’s a restaurant,” he said. “There’s a lot of good opportunities for interactive media. When we showed them the potential for that, they were very responsive, and there’s a great culture there.”

Buffalo Wild Wings Grill & Bar is a casual dining chain with New York sass that is known for its signature 14 sauces that accompany everything from appetizers and salads to burgers and, of course, wings. It is also a sports bar.

SCVNGR is positioned as a social networking platform geared toward consumers who like interacting in their communities. Launched its mobile app last May, the service lets friends check-in to venues, earn points and unlock reward points for doing so.

Saucy challenge
The first Buffalo Wild Wings promotional campaign remains SCVNGR’s most successful one.

Buffalo Wild Wings is one of the early restaurant brands to partner with a social network, but other chains are beginning to offer similar benefits due to the feedback.

The second round of challenges began May 1 to promote Buffalo Wild Wings’ “Flavor Fanatics” campaign that revolves around the chain’s 18 signature sauces and flavorful seasonings.

Consumers can snap a photo to win big

Also accessible via, the challenges are designed to let participants share their passions for flavor across SCVGR’s social platform. Players stand a chance to earn rewards such as free wings with their favorite sauces and seasonings.

Social engagement is not a new trend, but networks that partner with other companies to offer benefits or a check-in special – such as Foursquare’s recent partnership with Starwood (see story) – are benefiting from these digital initiatives.

In a world that is more digital than ever, imagination is key in creating these niche platforms.

By coming up with creative initiatives such as challenges and reward points, marketers can deepen their consumer experience.

In return, consumers are able to see and interact with benefits from these brands, thus increasing brand loyalty.

On a wing and a player
Take the new Buffalo Wild Wings effort.

Buffalo Wild Wings gives consumers the ability to win a bucket of wings or a free Coke at any location by playing a game, a clearly tangible benefit for participating consumers.

Indeed, this new campaign will expand on the previous effort that saw a high rate of repeat visits to several Buffalo Wild Wings’ locations.

The chain claims the first effort with SCVNGR generated thousands of user-generated challenges created by players earning more than 10 points at each location.

“Buffalo Wild Wings’ clients are actually building the game layer with them,” Mr. Mahl said.

“Folks that have played for 12 weeks actually create one of their own challenges,” he said. “This is a unique form of authoring, and there’s been tens of thousands of challenges created.

“Buffalo Wild Wings had some fun, and let consumers know what was there. This system works very effectively, and it’s just a matter of integrating it.”

Martha Pierce and Mickey Alam Khan contributed to the story.