A few years ago, Premier Retail Networks took over operations of a nationwide digital network in Taco Bell, McDonalds, Wendys restaurants. Hospitality was a new animal, considering that PRN wrote the book on shopper marketing at retail.
Engagement in fast-casual restaurants was untested ground.
With theBite, we had the opportunity to re-think and test a new approach to television with mobile engagement at the core, with the promise that existing shopper marketing advertisers would want to invest.
10 people were assigned roles with this new startup-within-a-company venture.
I signed on as Executive Producer, and out of necessity and opportunity, I assumed responsibilities of Creative Director and Product Owner.
theBite Channel Program had concurrent work streams:
The Platform: A network of locations, from sea to shining sea
With zero downtime, we went live with our MVP the moment the former owners ceased operations. Many were surprised how seamless it went, which was a testament to the high level of expertise PRN had in managing the enterprise, in this case, of 6000 screens and 4000 servers across 2000 locations. In the initial sprints of deployment, DevOps focused on reconciling technical debt: back-end bug bashing and trimming help-desk requests.
While systems and infrastructure were being optimized, the content team focused on creating meaningful experiences for the millions of diners watching our screens everyday.
Entertainment media served up while we dine.
With a wealth of research at our fingertips, the first challenge was to define what value TV could provide to a mobile-first audience. Short-form content was never a question, but what media really mattered, when we finally have the finest on-demand entertainment systems in human history at our fingertips?
What would turn passive viewers into active participants?
Isn't TV dead?
Serious questions, indeed. We started with the assumption that we had a shot at being relevant and delightful if we treated their attention as gold, and in exchange we'd give away fun content which could be converted into social currency.
Because we were on-air on Day 1, we adopted an abbreviated CX process, where testing was done live, rather than in a sandbox.
DEFINITION + DEVELOPMENT
TESTING and DELIVERY
From a universe of diners, we targeted
college-age guys and shaped experiences for them
The Brand: Bite-sized entertainment
that keeps you current with