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Wendy’s revitalizes selfie contests with MLB streaming subscription incentive

Wendy’s is attempting to break the mold for me-too selfie contests by inviting social media users to buy a discounted Frosty and upload a photo with it using a specific hashtag in exchange for a complimentary subscription to’s live streaming sports service.

The fast-food chain is placing its Frosty dessert at the heart of its latest campaign, which encompasses a partnership with Major League Baseball. Sports fans are invited to purchase a Frosty – discounted to 50 cents for a limited time – at any Wendy’s location, snap a selfie with the treat and post it on Twitter or Instagram via the #50centFrostyMLB hashtag, an action that will prompt Wendy’s or MLB to direct message the user with instructions on how to enjoy the free MLB.TV Premium streaming subscription.

“In this case, we saw an opportunity to reach legions of Major League Baseball fans with our 50 cent Frosty deal,” said Mike Bueno, director of digital marketing at The Wendy’s Company. “Our audience has a passion for baseball and Frosty is a fan favorite, so this was a natural fit.”

Heating up summer sales
Wendy’s is helping its customers combat the summer heat by encouraging them to purchase a small Frosty for 50 cents for a limited time. The Frosty, made with real cream and milk, comes in vanilla or chocolate.

To commemorate the summer promotion and incentivize individuals to come in-store and purchase a frozen treat, Wendy’s is joining forces with Major League Baseball and hosting a selfie activation.

Customers who purchase a Frosty are invited to take a selfie with the dessert and post it on their public Instagram or Twitter accounts via the hashtag #50centFrostyMLB. Those who do so will receive a complimentary subscription to MLB.TV Premium, a live streaming service for sports content.

Once a social media user uploads his or her selfie to a public account, Wendy’s or MLB will direct message that individual with instructions on how to activate the free subscription. Wendy’s will respond to Instagram users while MLB will handle Twitter posts.

The complimentary subscription will last through the remainder of the 2016 baseball season.

Sports fans will then be able to enjoy their MLB.TV Premium subscription at any time, barring blackout restrictions.

Supersizing mobile strategies
Wendy’s is also advertising the promotion by asking Twitter users to vote for their favorite Frosty flavor in a poll. Consumers can tap on the #TeamChocolateFrosty or #TeamVanillaFrosty button, which will generate a Tweet informing followers of their choice.

The chain’s latest sales-driving strategy comes on the heels of a series of fruitful mobile-first initiatives rolled out over the last few months.

Earlier this summer, Wendy’s capitalized on the connection between music and mobile devices by enabling fans to stream a track from indie rock band American Authors on its Twitter and Facebook pages or by scanning a Shazam icon found on Wendy’s in-store signage and in movie theaters (see story).

Additionally, a Wendy’s executive at the MMA Mobile Marketing Leadership Forum revealed that the fast-food chain’s initiatives within mobile video pay off – especially among millennial consumers – when it comes to driving in-store traffic, lending support to video ads’ rise (see story).

However, Wendy’s Frosty promotion and MLB partnership may have the most significant implications for the fast-food chain’s competitors, many of which regularly introduce tried-and-true selfie contests boasting one grand prize winner and a handful of smaller prize recipients.

If Wendy’s sees high user engagement with this campaign, other quick service restaurant marketers could be inspired to offer incentives and prizes to each of their contest participants in the future instead of a small number of winners.

“We’re fortunate to have two great passion points in Frosty and Major League Baseball,” Mr. Bueno said. “We also have a great partner in Twitter, through which we’re giving millions of consumers a forum to share their Frosty moments – and reward them for showing their love.”