Photo-sharing contests used as an engagement and email-generating method are hardly a new idea, but restaurant chains seem to be knocking themselves out on creative variations these days.
First case in point: Chipotle's "Wrap What You Love" contest. The contest is an extension of the chain's "Unlimited Time Only" campaign, in which all of its burritos are being wrapped in gold foil (rather than its usual aluminum foil) to call attention to its unchanging "unlimited time" mission of delivering premium-quality, sustainable fast food. That campaign began in March and will run through June.
The five-week contest challenges fans to wrap whatever it is they love most in either gold or standard aluminum foil (the gold variety is hard to find), snap it and share it on chipotle.com/gold. Chipotle will award a $10,000 grand prize to its favorite submission, based on creativity, popularity and for adhering to the spirit of the contest.
Also, each week during the five-week contest, the entry with the most "love" votes from fellow site/social media users will win a 1.4-ounce 24-karat gold Chipotle coin (worth roughly $2,000 as of the start of the contest).
On a less grand scale, the first 1,000 consumers to register to post photos will receive a free burrito card, as will 100 randomly chosen participants each week. Also weekly, the entrant with the most votes will wine 1.4 ounces worth of free burrito cards (enough to get a dozen free Chipotle meals).
Underlining its commitment to sustainability, Chipotle will also contribute $1 per entry votes (up to $150,000) to FamilyFarmed.org, which supports family-owned farms.For inspiration, contest entrants can view online video vignettes showing actress/comedian Amy Sedaris wrapping various items, such as her teeth, a half-empty bottle of cheap wine and cutlery.
But judging from the initial 80 entries now posted, inspiration is not likely to be lacking. One couple wrapped their newborn (labeled their "four-day-old burrito"). Other items gold-ified include an entire SUV ("golden chariot"), a (small) house, a guitar, a cell phone, a watch and dogs and cats.
Meanwhile, Fazoli's, the country's largest Italian QSR chain (220-plus locations), is promoting its new selection of "Old School" Italian entrées by offering anyone who brings an old school photo into one of its restaurants a free coupon for free spaghetti on his/ her next visit.
To win an entire year of free spaghetti, Italian fare fans have to be willing to actually post those old school photos on Facebook.com/ fazolis (although it appears that some are fudging by posting friends' or entire school class photos...). During the contest, which ends April 30, the photo that gets the most Likes wins.