Gamification is one of the most effective customer engagement strategies out there, but you don’t see too many brands using it to their advantage. That’s because it’s expensive, difficult to set up, and can be time-consuming for an organization. With that said, it’s exciting to see a brand take a go-big-or-go-home approach to gamification, and that’s just what Chipotle is doing.
The brand has announced that it’s giving out up to $1 million in free burritos through the rest of the professional basketball season. Every time an on-air announcer says the word “free” during the official coverage of the NBA championship series, Chipotle will be “freeting.” That is, live Tweeting a unique code good for the chance to score a free burrito from @chipotletweets.
Each mention of “free” in the first half of each game results in up to 500 free burritos. Each mention of “free” in the second half results in up to 1,000 free burritos. The code will only be valid to the first 500 or 1000 mobile users who text the correct code to 888222. Ordinary text and data rates will apply. The promotion will be limited to the first 20 on-air mentions of “free” during each game.
In addition, Chipotle will offer free delivery during the series, every day from Thursday, May 30, to Sunday, June 9. The company will also offer free delivery on Monday, June 10, Thursday, June 13, and Saturday, June 16, if the series continues. This applies to all orders of $10 or more ($200 max) via the Chipotle app,, and through DoorDash.
“We know that basketball fans are some of the most passionate fans in sports, so we’re putting even more, about $1 million more, on the line by ‘freeting’ through these final games,” says Chris Brandt, Chief Marketing Officer of Chipotle. “Chipotle has never been easier to access, and with Chipotle delivery, you never have to choose between basketball and burritos again.”
This is an exciting promotion for several reasons. For one, $1 million is a serious giveaway. The brand has been known for freebies and discounts (particularly on Halloween), but this is its most engaging campaign to hand out burritos yet. Furthermore, this gives professional basketball fans a new reason to watch games and pay attention to announcers’ every word. It will be interesting to see how this promotion pans out and if similar promotions come out of the QSR space.

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