To celebrate its forty-eighth anniversary, Arby's created a Facebook Timeline stretching back to 1964, the year the company was founded.
Starting today, visitors to Arby's Facebook page are invited to click on the beginning of its Timeline to get a coupon for a Classic Roast Beef sandwich at the 1960s price of $0.64. Coupons can only be redeemed on July 23, the company's anniversary date.
"We thought it would be a clever way to leverage Facebook's new timeline functionality and have fans scroll back in time to redeem our anniversary offer," said Jo Ann Herold, VP of communications and public relations at Arby's Restaurant Group.
The timeline has other entries highlighting the introduction of various menu items, such as the debut of the Beef 'N Cheddar Classic in 1978. Also posted along the timeline is a photo of the first Arby's restaurant with its Conestoga-wagon-like roof.
Arby's wanted to - and still hopes to - add more media to the timeline, including classic TV commercials. While the restaurateur used Facebook's basic timeline functionality to set its Wayback Machine, Herold said that the company is having technical challenges in posting the ads but aims to get them up soon.
The promotion is also featured on Instagram and Twitter, both directing deal-watchers to the Facebook page.
Several fans could not find the coupon, which requires scrolling down through several other 1960s-related items. Other helpful fans often steer seekers in the right direction via replies to their comments.
Arby's decided not to like-gate the coupon; anyone can click and print it without having to like the page. Said Herold, "One of our goals for this promotion was to increase engagement and entice sharing, so we wanted everyone to explore our timeline and have access to the coupon."
Arby's has almost 1.2 million fans already and close to 2,700 likes for the promotion.
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Susan Kuchinskas has covered interactive advertising since its invention. The former staff writer for Adweek, Business 2.0, and M-Business covers technology, business and culture from Berkeley, CA.
March 19, 2014