Free Food in Exchange for Friends!
Shared by Another Idea from HEILBrice Tuesday, September 22, 2009

How much would you pay to have consumers seek your brand out, give you their email addresses and full names, and the have them tell nearly 1 million of their friends to do the same?

Restaurant chain, TGI Friday’s, is now on the tail-end of their subtly ambitious Facebook campaign designed to do just that, and they’ve succeeded. It’s a modern day word-of-mouth effort that started with a seemingly normal Facebook member, simply known as Woody. The young twenty-something began to tell as many people as he could on Facebook that if he were to get more than half-a-million fans before the end of September, that TGI Friday’s would agree to give those people a free burger. Now it’s clear that this “Woody” has been in on the whole thing from the beginning, just take a look at his interest and date of birth on his Facebook profile. But there is something interesting about the rapid success of this campaign – truly viral.

In just over two weeks, 875,371 Facebook users became fans and registered their email addresses and names with Woody to receive a free burger (since this was posted, that number has increased by 132). Users didn’t just stop there, they’ve created 46 separate discussion board topics, added 233 photos and posted over 250,000 wall comments. Simply said, they’ve done more than what’s required to get a free burger, they’ve become involved, contributed, and told their friends.

TGI Friday’s has struggled with its brand image. They’ve been viewed as dated, out-of-touch, and sleepy, but come October 1st when all the free burger vouchers hit email inboxes, you better believe that TGI Friday’s across the nation will be full of a younger, more social demographic. Hopefully they’ll be able to make a good impression and keep these twenty-somethings coming back.