Fast Food Genius: Auntie Anne's Order-Placing Recliner and Whataburger's Baseball Team Takeover
As we said yesterday in our story about Chipotle using 300 million avocado pits to dye branded apparel, fast food merchandise is now a far cry from plastic kids’ meal toys. McDonald’s has dabbled in full-on streetwear fashion, and if you're a restaurant chain without a robust e-commerce platform, you’re missing out on opportunities.
Others have gone the route of over-the-top creativity and outlandish ideas. Think about things like monochrome puzzles, skateboards with pizza inside them, six-foot long coolers and wedding-themed product lines.
At this point it’s just going to be a constant race as restaurants try to one-up each other.
Auntie Anne’s, the beloved Pennsylvanian soft pretzel chain, is throwing its hat into the ring by putting the “comfort” in comfort food while we’re all ordering delivery.
Customers can win a “Recline to Dine” Auntie Anne’s recliner that places delivery orders by pulling the lever:
— Mobile Marketer (@MobileMktrDaily) August 5, 2020
According to Mobile Marketer, the chair uses motion sensors that can tell when someone pulls the lever, and connects to the Auntie Anne’s mobile ordering system. If that isn’t convenience, we don’t know what is.
That lucky winner will also get a year’s worth of free pretzels and other branded merchandise, so that lever will get put to work.
This is smart because, for one thing, it’s hilarious, and we’re just picturing the conversations the winner will have with everyone who enters their home. It’s also capitalizing on the delivery boom right now with companies like UberEats, GrubHub and all of the other gig economy startups fighting for market share. The chair alone is funny, but the lever that orders pretzels makes it genius. It also encourages future brand interaction long after they’ve left indents in the cushion.
Speaking of brand awareness, Whataburger has taken its co-branding efforts to another level. This is the same brand whose company store was so popular that even employees couldn’t get some branded items.
In true Texas fashion, the fast food chain has partnered with the Minor League Baseball Corpus Christi Hooks to celebrate Whataburger’s anniversary by rebranding the team temporarily.
Whataburger’s 70th anniversary is this year, and the co-branding event was supposed to happen throughout this year’s entire MiLB season, but for obvious reasons that’s been postponed until next year.
The new look is still going forward, as the team plays at Whataburger Field, which is full of other Whataburger-branded spots, so the partnership is well established.
“The Corpus Christi Hooks and Whataburger share a deep-rooted partnership as two cultural staples in South Texas and beyond,” Wes Weigle, Hooks General Manager, told K3 News. “When we announced a renewed 15-year partnership in March 2019, we proudly incorporated the famous orange and white pinstripes around Whataburger Field inside and out to strengthen that bond. The Celebrate Whataburger Collection is a collaboration that now allows fans of the Hooks and Whataburger to represent both brands, each of which originated right here in Corpus Christi.”
Adding some flavor to our lineup.
Introducing the Celebrate Whataburger Collection, honoring the 70th anniversary of the storied restaurant that started right here in Corpus Christi.
— Corpus Christi Hooks 🚕 (@cchooks) August 5, 2020
With how much brand sponsorship has taken hold in sports overseas, and with the NBA, MLS and NHL (soon) using on-jersey sponsorships, this could become the way of the future. Regional businesses will at least want to capitalize on the hometown pride that comes with sports.