Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. will launch on July 21 “Friend or Faux,” an online game that compares its ingredients to its competitors in the limited-service segment, the company said Wednesday.
Denver-based Chipotle, which made a splash two years ago with its “Scarecrow” game, which highlighted its “Food With Integrity” positioning, said the integrated “Friend or Faux” marketing campaign for mobile and desktop computers will be supported by “extensive” online advertising.
“There’s been a lot of talk recently about fast-food companies removing artificial ingredients from their food, but most of these announcements cover only a portion of the thousands of additives used in processed foods,” Mark Crumpacker, Chipotle chief creative and development officer, said in a statement.
In April, Chipotle said it would remove genetically modified ingredients from menu items served at U.S. locations.
“Through ‘Friend or Faux,’ we are giving consumers an entertaining way to contrast the collective beauty of Chipotle’s food with the complex ingredient lists that make up many fast-food and packaged food items,” Crumpacker said.
For years, Chipotle has showcased the quality of its food and the limited number of additives among its ingredients, which it says are just 68 in total.
“By engaging people in a way that makes them more curious about what they are eating, we hope they will better understand the options that are available to them,” Crumpacker said.
To play “Friend or Faux,” users choose a Chipotle menu item and one of a number of limited-service menu items, and then compare and match 20 ingredients, identifying which menu item contains each ingredient — the Chipotle item, the limited-service item or both.
The menu items will include a variety of Chipotle’s burritos, bowls, tacos and salads, as well as other limited-service brands’ items, such as burgers, burritos, tacos, sandwiches, salads and pizzas. Chipotle said a “study guide,” where users can learn more about the ingredients, will also be available.
As a reward, users who complete the “Friend or Faux” ingredient comparison experience will receive a buy-one-get-one mobile offer, as well as an entry into a national sweepstakes.
“To receive the buy-one-get-one coupon and be entered into the larger sweepstakes, participants need only enter first name, last name and mobile phone number,” a Chipotle spokeswoman wrote in an email Wednesday.
Other restaurants use gamification
Besides the sign-up offer, “Friend or Faux” participants can also enter a national sweepstakes, which will award 50 grand prize winners with one year of “Free Burritos for You and a Friend,” and 100 first prize winners with a “Catering Party for 20,” where available.
Users who share the “Friend or Faux” website on their Facebook and Twitter pages will receive a bonus sweeps entry, the company said.
Chipotle has used so-called gamification before, most notably in September 2013, with “The Scarecrow,” its arcade-style adventure game, which accompanied the release of its dystopia-styled online animated movie of the same name that highlighted the chain’s sustainable ingredients.
Other restaurants have also used gamification. Domino’s Pizza has in the past featured its “Pizza Hero” app, which let users build a virtual pizza, and Bojangles’ “Bo Time” app included Digital Cornhole, which simulated the popular bean bag game for tailgating.
Chipotle, founded in 1993, has more than 1,800 restaurants, including 17 Chipotle restaurants outside the United States. Chipotle also has 10 ShopHouse Southeast Asian Kitchen restaurants, and is an investor in three-unit Pizzeria Locale.