Carl's Jr Launches Viral Ad Campaign on Facebook. It's Great.


Remember Burger King's 2005 Subservient Chicken ad campaign? It is listed on Wikipedia as a notable example of "viral marketing campaigns" and was cited by Wired Magazine as one of the most successful viral ads to date. But while those campaigns can be very successful, they are tremendously difficult to emulate / predict / promote. Today - thanks to platforms like Facebook - viral means something different... and it is easier to create and foster. Here is Carl's Jr current viral ad campaign running on Facebook. Alongside screenshots, I will walk through the campaigns various components... which together are:

- a very compelling mix of advertising, product development and viral mechanics (feels as much 'Zynga' as it does advertisement)

- an effective mix of advertising and viral growth. Carl's Jr. is kickstarting the campaign with premium Facebook Ads and then relying on user-generated growth

- rewarding. We know from Facebook and their sampling platform that users love free stuff. Carl's Jr. provides that and rewards users for sharing.

Here is the Carl's Jr. premium ad running on Facebook. Any advertiser knows that creative is critical - particularly on Facebook. This combines a great call to action: "Fan Up for Free Food" and a racy photo.

Click and arrive at the Carl's Jr. Facebook Fan Page. It has a large Facebook Login button - as this is essentially an application within their fan page. Also notice the focus on creative again: "Click for Awesome" and the big "Spin Credits" which stand at "0".

Proof again that this is basically an application within their fan page: once you click the Facebook icon, you have to give the app permissions for profile access and graph data.

Once you allow permissions, you are granted a free spin from the Carl's Jr. wheel of free stuff. Everyone wins something - some prizes are big and others are not (like my free coffee and hash rounds with a breakfast burger purchase).

People love rewards and free stuff - and because everyone is a winner, everyone is incented to share with their friends. Here is your opportunity. Carl's Jr. does a good job with the creative here - which is a critical component for feed promotion - for instance, the image is unique to the prize.

Want more spins on the wheel of free stuff? Invite Facebook friends and, when they take a spin, you earn more credits: "every friend you get to spin the wheel of awesome wins you an extra spin!"

These invites are another opportunity for Carl's Jr. to drive awareness. So the flow and touch points are: - advertisement (where you can see which friends 'like' it) - fan page (becoming a fan appears in news feed) - promotion of your prize (via your news feed / wall post) - viral invites