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How Waffle House used bacon as an amazing marketing currency

How Waffle House used bacon as an amazing marketing currency Shelby White

When Smithfield Foods approached the popular southern restaurant chain Waffle House with a mobile rewards idea, neither could have imagined the success they would find with simple gamification. In a unique partnership, the two companies created "Waffle House Race For Rewards," an app that allows customers to earn points by eating at Waffle House and purchasing Smithfield Products at the restaurant. One point is rewarded to customers for simply eating at the delicious diner. Five points are rewarded to those who purchase Smithfield Food products at Waffle House including pork chops, chunked ham, city ham, and most of all -- bacon.


In addition, rewards were also tied to picking stock car racing winners from Smithfield's sponsorship of Richard Petty Motorsports. Every week, customers could select their top five stock car drivers and earn one point for each driver that finished in the top five of their race. This strategy made engaging gamification possible as customers could cheer for their favorite driver with fun stakes.


By incorporating a CPG brand, sports franchise, and a popular restaurant retailer all in one gamified app, this campaign brought massive success to all parties. In fact, Smithfield Foods saw bacon volume double over the course of this launch. Brand awareness and positive perception increased for NASCAR and Waffle House, as well as foot traffic for the restaurant chain. It's a clever example of how even something simple and delicious -- like bacon -- can be used to enhance marketing effectiveness.


Waffle House's senior marketing manager Shelby White speaks to iMedia about this inventive mobile strategy and explains how the partnership was able to engage customers on a variety of verticals.



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Article written by media production manager David Zaleski.


"Vector Illustration of a fist holding bacon" image via Shutterstock.

For nearly 15 years, Shelby White has held various marketing positions at Atlanta-based Waffle House, Inc. Currently, as senior marketing manager, White is responsible for branding and promotional campaigns from concept to completion. She has...

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