The 20th anniversary promotion includes 20 puzzles over 20 days, along with video clues from the brand's famous friends.
To celebrate 20 years of wedded bliss, the traditional gift is china. But to celebrate 20 "burritoful years," Chipotle Mexican Grill is giving its customers the opportunity to win free burritos via Adventurrito, an online treasure hunt with daily puzzles for 20 days that reward fans who know the brand well.
The promotion kicked off on July 13 at Chipotle's first location in Denver, CO. Over the course of the first 19 days of the contest, the brand will give away a burrito a week for a year to 20 contestants each day. On the last day, however, the first 20 players to finish the puzzle will be awarded the grand prize of one burrito a week for 20 years.
In order to participate, players must register on the Adventurrito site. Those who refer friends will receive an additional entry in the next daily puzzle lottery drawing. Players also received an additional entry by registering for the contest prior to 20:20 MST time on July 13.
Chipotle unlocks its daily puzzles at 20:20 MST time each day. Players who attempt to answer it before 20:20 MST time the following day will be entered into the daily lottery. Only those participants who complete all the puzzles will be able to unlock the final puzzle.
Puzzles so far include a math problem, a map query, a challenge to find a phrase in a behind-the-scenes video, and a series of fill-in-the-blanks with missing words from billboards.
As of Friday, 97,294 participants had solved the first puzzle. Chipotle rep Chris Arnold says more than 300,000 participants were registered as of Saturday.
"Some of [the answers] are online, some are through social media, some are in restaurants. They're findable, but it takes a little work," he says. "But the prizes are sufficiently compelling and the interest is such that we wanted to make it a bit challenging and we wanted people to have to make some investment."
Each puzzle also includes a video clue presented by so-called "high-profile friends of Chipotle," such as Chefs Jeremiah Tower and Amanda Freitag, Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper, singer Willie Nelson, and Chipotle's new media manager, Joe Stupp.
Puzzle hints in the form of haikus, or "Hai-clues," are also available. They can be unlocked by visiting a Chipotle location and texting a unique receipt code.
Arnold says the brand wanted to do something to celebrate its 20th anniversary that was about its customers.
"It's really a promotion that is geared to people who know and understand something about Chipotle already more than it is about customer acquisition," Arnold says.
Chipotle experienced some technical difficulties on the first day, which Arnold says "seems to be rooted in volume" as a result of too many people trying to play as soon as the first puzzle was available.
A rep says another small "wrinkle" is sites popping up with the answers.
Chipotle has more than 1,450 locations in the U.S., Canada, France, and the U.K.
As of Friday, Chipotle has 2.1 million likes on Facebook and 222,000 followers on Twitter.
On Sunday, the brand sent out a series of strange tweets. Stupp later posted, "Sorry all. We had a little problem with our account. But everything is back on track now!"
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In addition to ClickZ and Search Engine Watch, Lisa's work has appeared in The Huffington Post, The Luxury Spot, LearnVest, MarthaStewart.com, GoodHousekeeping.com, amNewYork, and The Wall Street Journal. She's a graduate of Columbia's School of Journalism.
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