T.G.I. Fridays is taking an interesting approach to attracting Facebook fans to its brand, launching an ad campaign with an original character named Woody. Woody is an “average guy” looking to pick up 500,000 fans before the end of September, and if he’s successful, those fans will receive a free Jack Daniels burger.
Woody has a few commercials running on television and posted in the Videos tab on his Fan page, in which he promotes his the page and the free burger offer. So far the page has a little over 100,000 Fans, and should he reach the half million mark by the end of the month, the first 500,000 Fans will receive a coupon for a free T.G.I. Fridays burger.
Most of the other restaurants in the 500,000+ Fan category have accumulated their backing a little more organically, or through promotions and campaigns involving established offers or characters already associated with their brands. This is the first time we’re aware of that an ad campaign to garner Facebook Fans has centered around an entirely new, unknown character.
Most of the restaurants enjoying Facebook success are of the quick-serve variety, with McDonald’s, Chick-fil-A and Pizza Hut hitting the one million Fan mark recently. It will be interesting to see if T.G.I. Fridays can grab half a million fans in less than a month, especially since they’ve obviously spent the money to develop the page and buy television ad time. But the enticement of free food is a powerful one, and this seems to be the driving motivator based on the posts on the page’s wall.