Restaurant brands are turning to video in the hopes of replicating or exceeding the viral success of efforts from chains including Arby's and Quiznos. Striking the note that will take the campaign viral starts with three rules: Use real customers, show how ordering happens along with happy employees, and show fresh ingredients, says Technomic's Darren Tristano. "It's every marketer's dream to be able to go viral with something that is cool and hip and edgy that doesn't negatively taint the brand," he says.
Arby's has upgraded its mobile kitchen truck to include a larger cooking space and interactive experiences for customers. The truck's kitchen can produce 500 to 600 sandwiches an hour, and the trailer features a Wii gaming system, photo booth and putting game. "People want to be entertained and engaged. We've made [that] a part of the Arby's experience," said Arby's spokesman John Gray.
When acquiring domain names, think beyond just the company name, and get some that take into account geography and what you sell, an expert advises. Another tip: Buy some misspellings, too, because shoppers might mistype your Web address.
Susan Newman, NRF's vice president of conferences, discusses the two concept stores at next week's convention: the Customer Experience and the Seeing Green concept stores. NRF also has made efforts this year to be more environmentally friendly by not passing out handouts for each session, encouraging recycling and using recyclable materials for the Show floor, brochures and more.
Barack Obama-related merchandise is popping up all over the place and goes beyond commemorative plates to include earrings, totes and even a perfume. And it's not confined to the U.S.: In France, there's an Obama soda, and in Italy, an Obama-family Nativity scene was a best-seller.