Chipotle created a new smartphone challenge that sent fans on a quest to earn free guacamole across TikTok, Instagram, and Facebook.
The brand’s “Unlock the Guac” challenge was created in honor of National Guacamole Day on July 31 and gave fans the chance to win free guacamole for a year. From July 30-31 Chipotle fans could text a special number for the chance to unlock a Chipotle Rewards account containing 52 free guacamole rewards. Through the challenge period, Chipotle enacted six “guessing periods” where customers could turn to its social media channels to find special clues. To take part in the challenge, fans did not have to be current Chipotle Rewards members, though those that were a part of the loyalty program could also get a free order of guacamole with any entree order on National Guacamole Day.
By holding the “Unlock the Guac” challenge via text message, Chipotle could reach a wider audience than through its website or mobile app. The challenge also gave Chipotle the opportunity to encourage fans to join its loyalty rewards program. Chipotle has a history of running marketing efforts on National Guacamole Day, including its 2019 push on TikTok where its #GuacDance challenge became the platform’s highest-performing branded campaign in the U.S. and helped it build a large following before many other brands on the app, according to a Gartner report. As Chipotle has aligned itself with the holiday, its fans have come to anticipate an exciting guacamole-themed giveaway each year, which helps boost engagement with loyal fans each summer. With the Coronavirus pandemic hampering any in-person efforts this year, a mobile promotion allows Chipotle to continue interacting with fans digitally while still driving sales to its restaurants.
Chipotle’s guacamole giveaway let fans interact with the restaurant to earn a reward that could last all the way until next year’s National Guacamole Day. By using text messaging as its primary campaign tactic and social media as a secondary strategy, Chipotle could set itself apart from the dozens of brands turning solely to social media for engagement during the Coronavirus pandemic, potentially creating a unique avenue for reaching loyal fans.