Carl’s Jr. fast food chain has launched a combination coupon-game application on Facebook called The Wheel of Awesome. The chain’s sister restaurant, Hardee’s, is also participating by allowing fans who use the application to spin a wheel for an instant prize of a discount coupon, or other prizes like Blu-ray players, DVDs, gift cards and coupons for free food.
The Wheel of Awesome launched on May 13 and runs for a month until June 13. First a Facebook user has to Like the Carl’s Jr. or Hardee’s Page in order to use the one free spin each player receives. One can earn more spins by inviting friends to use the app.
Once a user likes the Page and clicks to enter they must give the app permission to access their profile information and that of their friends. After clicking the spin button a dancing version of the Carl’s Jr. logo, a smiling yellow star walks out and makes a bit show of spinning the wheel, thereupon releasing thunder, lightening and fire. The app is fairly amusing, also featuring a white tiger with a comically large gold chain around its neck.
The Wheel of Awesome spins and a prize pops up, such as a coupon for a discount on a burger or free fries.
AppData shows that the game has resulted in some gains for the Pages of Carl’s Jr. with more than 195,000 Likes and Hardee’s, currently with 153,100 Likes. This is partially due, no doubt, to user-generated growth. Remembering that, in order to play the game you have to Like the Page, if users want to play again they have a built-in incentive to share the game with friends to do so.
Plus, once you play the app publishes the fact to your Wall and into the news feed.
There’s a good mix of marketing practices at play here, many of which we discuss in the Inside Facebook Marketing Bible. Obviously people love free food, we wrote earlier this year about Context Optional’s coupon promotion for Einstein Bros and Noah’s Bagels; the promotion awarded a free bagel and schmear via coupon to fans. But combining the free coupon with a game throws in an element of entertainment that we saw previously with Del Taco’s Super Special Show, after all there’s no practical reason for a tiger to wear a gold chain other than for a laugh.
So far the promotion seems to have added tens of thousands of fans to Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s Pages and it’s only been a few weeks. At this rate by the time the promotion is over the Pages are probably going to boast hundreds of thousands of fans.