A&W declares April 19th ‘Uncle’s Day’

The fast-food chain's social media recipe met with success hyping participation in its Uncle Burger contest, and reaching out both to Boomers and a younger burger demo.

A social media campaign celebrating the A&W Uncle Burger kicked off the ‘Ultimate Uncle Contest’ last month, inviting customers to share with A&W why they have the best uncle. The winner will be named ‘Canada’s Ultimate Uncle’ on April 14, winning a trip for four to Banff, while six regional winners will receive dinner for 20 at an A&W restaurant. Canadians can enter the contest, send an Uncle’s Day (which A&W is declaring April 19) e-card and print a coupon for the burger at www.uncleburger.ca.

The first phase of the campaign was to create online buzz about the website. Employees of A&W and others tweeted, updated their Facebook status and discussed the website on message boards and blogs. ‘We looked for blogs about either A&W or discount deals, and made sure that the bloggers were aware of the website,’ explains David Waterfall, director of marketing at A&W. Media agency Genesis Vizeum worked in an advisory role on the campaign.

‘As a brand, A&W has historically reached to boomers, we felt this was a way to reach both boomers and non-boomers,’ says Tom Shepansky, partner at Rethink Communications, which worked with A&W on the creative. Waterfall adds: ‘Increasing numbers of baby boomers are using social media, and we wanted to engage them that way versus some of the traditional forms of advertising.’

The strategy seems to have worked as the site received 6,000 requests for Uncle Burger coupons within 12 hours of launching, and within 48 hours the site had received 10,000 visitors. Upon closing, the contest had garnered over 40,000 unique entries online.