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Pei Wei uses BuzzFeed-inspired social video to drive sales

Pei Wei, the pan-Asian fast casual restaurant chain, is driving sales for three of its new wing varieties with a social video series leading up to the Super Bowl.

The video series depicts a variety of food tutorials on how to prepare different flavors of chicken wings. The move is an attempt to cash in the traditional Super Bowl snack of chicken wings using social video to drive sales of the new flavors.

“Our new wings are the latest menu items to evolve from our Test Kitchen in Scottsdale, and offer a way to take your game day spread to the next level,” said Pei Wei Chief Marketing Officer Clay Dover. “All three wing varieties bring unique, bold flavors and an innovative twist to our Pan-Asian cuisine.”

Super Bowl recipes
With the Super Bowl right around the corner, Americans will soon be gathering around the TV for one of the country’s great traditions – watching commercials and eating loads of chicken wings.

The National Chicken Council estimates that Americans will eat 1.3 billion chicken wings on the day of the Super Bowl, which is great news for brands that sell them.

One such brand that is cashing in on this trend is Pei Wei, the pan-Asian restaurant chain famous for its variety of Asian-flavored chicken wings.

This year, Pei Wei is introducing three new flavors of chicken wing: Szechuan Spice, Honey Sriracha and Thai Sweet Chili.

To promote sales of these new flavors, Pei Wei is turning to social media and one of the hotter trends on mobile marketing at the moment – video.

The brand is introducing a video series that shows how to make and prepare different flavors of chicken wings as a way of promoting the new flavors and driving sales before game day.

The video series will be hosted on the brand’s Facebook page. There will be three videos in total.

Chicken wings
Pei Wei’s video series bears a resemblance to Buzzfeed’s incredibly successful recipe series, Tasty.

Tasty videos, with their short run-time and simplified top-down filming style, have proven overwhelmingly popular with social media users and many brands have employed similar video tactics to try and capture the same audience.

Pei Wei is hoping that the video series will provide its consumers with an engaging set of content that will encourage them not just to purchase Pei Wei chicken wings, but to become more active in the kitchen themselves and to prepare their own food in addition to shopping with the brand.

The videos also include encouragement to download the brand’s mobile app, which can be used to order food on the day of the big game.

Instructional videos are a great way both to raise brand awareness and encourage a more direct type of engagement than more passive video types.

For example, OneUnited Bank recently released a video series not only promoting the bank itself, but giving instructions on financial literacy targeted at low-income black families (see story).

With this kind of direct engagement, Pei Wei is hoping to open a direct line of contact between the social video series and customers purchasing directly from the restaurant.