On an ad-funded Restaurant TV network, how to satisfy hunger and connect to the heart + the mind?
The mobile engagement program set out to validate an assumption that people would be willing to pivot attention from games on phones to games on TV screens.
By keeping the test simple and optimizing to just a few variables, we attained 2x engagement of industry benchmarks. Details follow.
theBite, a TV Network deployed in quick-serve restaurants nationwide, was 100% ad-funded, and thus, faced unprecedented competition to make a profit. Mobile was the greatest rival to theBite in capturing the attention of diners grabbing a quick ...bite.
Without an interactive component, theBite risked being as compelling as wallpaper.
We evaluated a range of ways to interact with the screens, including hyperlocal targeting, audio watermarking, custom apps, deciding that the simplicity and ubiquity of text messaging would be a viable mode to test click-thru engagement.
The trigger we used to engage viewers was weekly polls and quizzes that took no more than a minute to complete.
For operational efficiency and flexibility, we established these parameters:
Givens Templated content formats, for easy updating One shortcode for easy recognition
Optimizing Variables Length and frequency of interactive content Subject matter: sports, entertainment, topical
Term: Six months Refresh: New quizzes each week
Testing the Experience
Casual quiz attracts attention
User plays the game via SMS, makes a guess: "T1"
theBite responds with a topical CTA. Should the user engage further, highly relevant 3rd-party content would come next.
At test time, casual gaming mobile ad response rate was benchmarked at 5%; We exceeded that considerably: 10.25% of users took steps beyond the quiz to engage deeper into relevant content.
It was a key validating point: the screens on the wall could indeed captivate people otherwise engrossed with burgers in-hand, and distractions on devices.
The greatest engagement came from by fine-tuning subject matter to pro sports. One can posit that, amongst a plurality of diners/viewers, the core advertiser audience believed to most likely engage with the tv channel would be college-age women and men.