Wingstop Sees High Response, ROI, Sales In 4/20 Campaign

SociThe Challenge

With marijuana legal for medical and/or recreational use in 30 states, 4/20 (April 20) has grown from a small hippie happening into a nationwide celebration of marijuana and cannabis culture. As this holiday grows, so does marijuana usage and the munchies. Wingstop says its chicken wings are the perfect solution for intense food cravings and they wanted to increase sales on 4/20. Starcom tapped into the truth of how many people celebrate 4/20: Long hours of binge watching. 

The Execution

This inspired them to create the first-ever 4/20 “High-atus,” encouraging binge watchers to take five and cure their flavor crave at Wingstop. Taking cues from old drive-in theater animation, and the infamously repetitive commercials on services like Hulu and YouTube, they created their own repetitive animated video, serving multiple, sequential branded content. On Hulu, they ran four 15-second units across a program, each one trippier than the last to turn up the crave, and extended the High-atus across online video using re-targeting. 

Overall, 18% of viewers who saw the first video saw all four, with completion rates increasing with each one. This was no one-hitter. They scheduled sequential videos on linear cable and hit the big screen on 4/20, placing a High-atus in cinema prior to the “Super Troopers 2” premiere. Social and Wingstop’s owned sites caught the buzz, too, changing content at strategic points like 4:20 p.m. and encouraging fans to share and order wings online. They ran cut-downs of their :15 videos in social, too, serving them in increments to users. 

The Results

  • Response was high with 50K conversations on Twitter and 300K organic impressions. 
  • Return on ad spend was 54% higher than year ago. 
  • Sales were up 9%, making this Wingstop’s most successful 4/20 in history.

Key Takeaways

  • Use social listening to reveal underlying audience behaviors.
  • People love a throwback made modern.
  • Even a one-day effort can really spike sales.

This campaign won a MediaPost OMMA Award in 2018.

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