For March Madness, Buffalo Wild Wings (aka B-Dubs) is expanding on the aggressive, multi-platform approach it rolled out for this year’s Super Bowl.
B-Dubs, which bills itself as the “Wings.Beer.Sports” brand and is the designated “Official Hangout for NCAA March Madness,” is looking to pull fans into its restaurants during the tournament and Final Four, in particular, with TV ads, social media, digital advertising and in-restaurant events and promotions.
Like its ”What the Favre?” Super Bowl campaign, the March Madness campaign, “We Do It For You,” aims to leverage some sports fans’ habit of figuratively pointing a finger at B-Dubs on social media when surprising events occur during a big game — and asking the brand to “#HitTheButton” to influence the outcome.
Throughout the tourney, the brand will run three humorous ads that dramatize the lengths to which it will go to make games more exciting for fans watching the games in its restaurants and elsewhere.
In one ad, “Number 7” (below), two fans get an uncanny surprise after they facetiously ask their B-Dubs server to take a star player on the opposing team out of the game.
In another ad, fans are spooked when a B-Dubs-created “Foodoo” doll (snacks arranged on a platter to resemble a doll) seems to succeed all too well in interfering with a free throw by an opponent player. In the third ad, not yet posted online, B-Dubs enables an instant “rally beard” grow in order to drive a comeback for fans’ favored team.
In addition, whenever a game goes into overtime during the tournament, the brand will immediately air a spot called “Overtime Time,” which encourages fans to enjoy those bonus five minutes of basketball.
The spots will run on CBS, CBS SportsNetwork, TruTV, TNT and TBS.
On the social media front, B-Dubs will share “Tools of Distraction” videos and GIFs on Facebook and Twitter, encouraging fans to share them to help distract opposing team players. The tools include a “Rally Beard,” Free Throw Gong,” B-Dubs’ version of thunder sticks (“Thunder Wings”), an inflatable, dancing “Tube Fan,” and a group of bouncing, Blazin’ Bill cutout heads (Gazin’ Bills).
An Instagram Stories series will show fans how to try to influence play outcomes by tapping and using B-Dubs menu items. The brand will also spotlight selected tweets that include #HitTheButton, including scrolling these in real time on the tournament area of the B-Dubs Web site.
Whether watching from a B-Dubs location or elsewhere, fans will be able to use a March Madness-themed Snapchat filter that allows them to spotlight big game moments and join the #HitTheButton conversation.
In-restaurant, once the “Sweet Sixteen” commence, fans can pick up a free “real-life” rally beard.
During the Final Four, in Buffalo Wild Wings Sports Lounges, they will be able to use a Rally Beard Photo Op station with facial mapping tech to digitally display their own rally beards, using the team color of their choice, and share the photos instantly on social media.
In addition to menu item promotions and multiple flat-screen TVs airing tournament coverage, the lounges will feature activities such as wing-eating contests, pop-a-shot free-throw games, and appearances by Steve Lavin and Seth Greenberg.