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Pizza Hut, Amex Team Up on Foursquare for Super Bowl

  |  February 2, 2012   |  Comments

Partnership offers game watchers a $5 rebate on pizzas.

Will football fans check in via Foursquare on Super Bowl Sunday? American Express and Pizza Hut plan to find out, offering a $5 rebate on any food order from the pizza chain that exceeds $10. While aimed at Super Bowl XLVI viewers, the discount and three-company partnership will run through Feb. 12.

Here is why it's interesting for Pizza Hut. Foursquare users don't have to check in at any of Pizza Hut's 6,000 restaurants. Whenever Amex members check in to the geo-social app's "Super Swarm Sunday" feature created for the big game, they will receive a statement credit after ordering from Pizza Hut online, by phone, or in stores.

They have to pay with their Amex cards, which need to be synced up to their Foursquare acounts. Then, Foursquare will send them an alert about the money-back reward within moments after the Pizza Hut purchase.

Foursquare's Challenge

While a compelling marketing innovation, the Foursquare initiative appears to be but a small piece to Pizza Hut's larger efforts for Super Bowl XLVI. For instance, the Plano, TX-based brand will run a pre-game ad on NBC. The spot is the result of a user-generated video contest on the brand's Facebook page that concluded on Jan. 15.

Interestingly, on the social media front, the Yum! Brands property has neither authored a Facebook post to its 5.5 million fans/likes nor tweeted to its 83,000 Twitter followers about the Foursquare offer. Because of Pizza Hut's current $10 deal for any kind of pizza, Amex users would stand to buy pies from the chain for roughly $5 apiece - after the $5 credit is applied.

The Super Bowl is in three days. Not surprisingly, the brand's community managers have published numerous messages about Sunday's huge TV event in which it will participate.

For all the marketing community's interest in Foursquare, Pizza Hut's lack of attention to the deal offer so far seems to speak volumes about where geo-social truly stands in the real-world pecking order of advertising. In other words, platforms at reasonable scale like Facebook (845 million users) and Twitter (100 million) are welcome in King TV's court. New York-based Foursquare, with its 15 million users, appears to be still working towards such an invite.

Mobile Marketing Taking Shape Around Big Game

Meanwhile, the Pizza Hut offer extends a Amex-Foursquare relationship that became serious in March 2011. The development also underscores how many marketers seem to be viewing Sunday's big game as intriguing juncture in the evolution of mobile or so-called second-screen marketing.

Super Bowl advertisers increasingly want to maximize the impact of their spot by offering dedicated mobile content for TV viewers with smart phones and tablets in hand. Coca-Cola and Pepsi are among the brand advertisers that hope to engage game viewers with mobile video and other content.


Christopher Heine

Christopher Heine was a senior writer for ClickZ through June 2012. He covered social media, sports/entertainment marketing, retail, and more. Heine's work has also appeared via Mashable, Brandweek, DM News, MarketingSherpa, and other tech- and ad-centric publications. USA Today, Bloomberg Radio, and The Los Angeles Times have cited him as an expert journalist.

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