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Chipotle mixes mobile coupons with gaming to win back guacamole fans

The food retailer is showing off its fresh ingredients by rewarding users who interact with the brand and play its new Guac Hunter game with a mobile coupon for free guacamole. Users must scan various side-by-side images for differences, in which Chipotle is hoping to procure a following of fans through positive brand sentiment, as everyone will receive a coupon, no matter their game play results.

“The game is a way to work with one of our partners to highlight our guac and showcase the great ingredients we use to make it,” said Chris Arnold, communications director at Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc. “We have done this before with other games.

“The idea is simply to give people a reward for discovering and playing the game,” he said.

Mobile marketing A-Game
Chipotle took to its social media outlets for promotion of the temporary game, available on desktop and mobile through an interactive dedicated page. Users on mobile can click through from links provided on Twitter and Facebook, allowing them to play directly on their devices.

Users are instructed to turn their devices horizontally to play the game. Participants must play three rounds by searching for discrepancies between two seemingly identical photographs.

The images are meant to promote the freshness of the products used in Chipotle’s guacamole, and each feature avocados. The brand is playing into popular themes on social media such as viral quotes and fun facts interspersed between game play.

For instance, before the first round, Chipotle incorporates the popular quote known on social media “I know guac is extra” with a slide before the first round that reads “we know you know it’s extra, but right now you can get it free.” Players are tasked with finding five differences for three sets of photos within 45 seconds.

Users tap the area on the photo on which there is a difference, but five-second penalties are taken off the game timer for wrong guesses. Between rounds, Chipotle also shares fun facts such as “we use about 60 ripe Hass avocados per guacamole batch, multiple times a day which is about 250,000 pounds of avocados daily.”

Every participant that plays the entire three-round game, whether they won or lost, can receive a coupon for free guacamole. Chipotle surprises players with a page following game play that incorporates comedic avocado-themed puns informing them of the coupon.

For instance, one message is word play that incorporates Hass, the brand of avocado that Chipotle uses with a text that says “you can Hass avocado,” and includes a link to get their free coupon. Users must submit their information and phone number, and Chipotle sends an SMS message with a link to the coupon in which a QR code must be scanned for redemption.

Chipotle chews on mobile
While Chipotle was one of the first quick service restaurant chains to implement mobile ordering, the brand’s stagnant third quarter prompted it to debut more enhancements to the platform, as well as an online catering service, in a bid to further optimize the experience and boost sales (see more).

The retailer also highlighted the potency of offering promotions via third-party mobile ordering applications by enabling Postmates users to partake in a social media contest to win 100 days of free burritos (see more).

“With the game, we are looking to showcase the great avocados we use to make our guacamole, to provide an opportunity for our guac-loving customers to have some on us, and to encourage people who do not typically have guacamole to give it a try and see what they have been missing,” Mr. Arnold said.