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Jack in the Box turns live event into mobile coupon for enduring power

Jack in the Box is extending the life of a record-setting 80-foot-tall coupon and bringing it to consumers across the country through the power of mobile, showing how even a live event can be turned into a mobile offer.

The hamburger chain recently won the Guinness World Records title for the world’s largest coupon to raise awareness of its new Buttery Jack burger. It is tapping social media to fuel users to share a photo of the coupon, with consumers able to redeem the offer by showing a photo of the coupon on their mobile phone at any location.

“This is definitely a good strategy to augment awareness of the Buttery Jack burger by creating a brand experience around the burger and tapping into millennials’ natural inclination toward technology,” said Esha Shah, manager of mobile and strategy at Fetch, San Francisco, CA. “By creating the largest coupon ever made, Jack in the Box captures the intrigue of those interested in the Guinness Book of World Records.

“In addition, Jack in the Box celebrated their world record by hosting a party close to famous W Hotel (where their world-record coupon is prominently displayed) on Hollywood Boulevard, a fairly well-known tourist attraction,” she said. “At the event, they encouraged party-goers to take photos and hashtag #WorldsLargestCoupon as they danced to the DJ.

“Using a hashtag allows Jack in the Box to leverage the virality of social media to encourage people to share content on social media. By throwing a party at a ‘cool’ location, Jack in the Box is branding itself not just for it’s food, but painting the Jack in the Box experience as one that is fun, record-breaking and tech savvy.”

Real-time promotion
The brand’s mascot Jack presented a coupon for a buy one, get one free Buttery Jack burger, measuring 80 feet by 25 feet, to Jack in the Box’s Hollywood restaurant. The chain is rolling out a national campaign to coincide with winning the world record for the largest coupon by offering consumers a mobile-only coupon and asking them to share with friends and family on social media via a designated hashtag.

Jack in the Box used a unique strategy to showcase its mobile coupon and also throw an in-person event to generate buzz for the new food product. Jack the mascot proudly redeemed the coupon at the Hollywood restaurant, alongside other members of the Los Angeles community, in a large photo opportunity for press.

“This was definitely a great strategy by Jack in the Box that excellently blurred the lines between social media and grass roots marketing,” said Shawn Prez, founder of grassroots marketing agency Power Moves Inc., New York. “When people take pictures they’re much more likely to share it on their social platforms, such as Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.

“Once the coupon went viral, it made people want to be a part of the experience. People who wouldn’t normal purchase a Jack in the Box burger are more inclined to buy one,” he said.

“It also served as a great PR stunt.”

After Jack redeemed the coupon, it was showcased at the W Hotel on Hollywood Boulevard for passersby to view. Consumers could snap a photo of the coupon with their mobile device and bring it into a Jack in the Box location immediately for redemption.

Meanwhile, the festivities with the mascot continued, with Jack personally handing out free Buttery Jacks burgers, taking photos with fans and dancing to music provided by a DJ.

The Buttery Jacks burgers come with garlic herb butter melted on a beef patty. The Classic version of the burger arrives with Provolone cheese, tomato sauce, green leaf lettuce and tomatoes, while the Bacon and Swiss Buttery Jack is garnished with hickory smoked bacon, bacon mayonnaise and Swiss cheese.

The social angle
Jack in the Box is gearing up for the mobile coupon to go viral by encouraging consumers to share it on social media via the #WorldsLargestCoupon hashtag. The coupon is now redeemable at any participating location nationwide through April 1.

The coupon is only available for mobile users, proving the brand’s commitment to mobile strategy and on-the-go customers that may experience a spur-of-the-moment desire to try out the Buttery Jacks burger.

Guests can visit the Jack in the Box Web site to receive the $1 off a Buttery Jacks burger coupon.

“Fast food chains should definitely roll out mobile coupons with a designated hashtag,” Mr. Prez said. “First and foremost, we live in the digital age.

“Fast food giants and retailers need to step into the 21st century and acknowledge that more people are shopping online. Their involvement shows that they’re in touch with the digital revolution and the habits of their consumer base,” he said.

“Boston Market successfully introduced new audiences to their meals by offering $1 meal coupons which went viral via mobile devices.”

Jack in the Box is also ramping up social media strategy. Consumers that have tried the Buttery Jacks burgers are encouraged to upload their personal photos and experiences using the #ButterBelieveIt hashtag.

Several celebrities have gotten in on the fun on Twitter, with actor and model Colton Haynes tweeting a personal image from the Jack in the Box world record event and urging fans to repost with the #WorldsLargestCoupon hashtag.

Actor Nathan Kress also posted a Twitter photo posing with the giant coupon in Hollywood.

“More brands should be leveraging social coupons with a designated hashtag because the viral nature of sharing content on social media via hashtag can provide reach beyond a standard media campaign,” Fetch’s Ms. Shah said. “Using a hashtag is a cool way to share on social media, and this method of sharing resonates with younger generations.

“By tapping into this (digital) language of younger generations, food chains can better insert themselves (and their digital coupons) into young people’s conversations in a way that feels more natural or authentic. Hashtagging is an easy way for people to join a conversation while also spreading a brand’s message.”

Final Take
Alex Samuely is an editorial assistant on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York