Zaxby’s inspires random acts of kindness with TikTok challenge

Dive Brief:

  • Fast-casual chain Zaxby’s kicked off a TikTok activation timed to coincide with Random Acts of Kindness Day on Feb. 17, according to a company announcement.
  • The #ZaxofKindness challenge looks to inspire acts of kindness via a hashtag challenge on TikTok. The brand’s videos on the platform and across social media feature Zaxby’s mascot Big Z taking part by putting money in random people’s parking meters, among other things.
  • Zaxby’s chose to focus its efforts on TikTok because of the platform’s visual storytelling style and younger audience, said CMO Joel Bulger. Random Acts of Kindness Day was created in 1995 to “inspire people to practice kindness and to ‘pass it on’ to others,” per the company announcement.

Dive Insight:

Zaxby’s looks to tap into continued interest around TikTok with its #ZaxofKindness effort, offering some lighthearted fun at a time when many consumers are seeking kindness and connection as the coronavirus pandemic persists after nearly a year in the U.S.

“TikTok is an excellent channel for visual storytelling and connecting with our younger audience, so we thought it would be perfect for sharing positivity and inspiring kindness on Random Acts of Kindness Day,” Bulger said.

After facing a possible ban by the Trump administration, the social video platform seems to be out of the woods as the Biden administration does not seem to have it high on its list of priorities. The shift will likely lead to the app’s continued status as a key platform for reaching younger consumers who are difficult to reach through other channels.

Zaxby’s joined TikTok last February and has more than 24,000 followers on the platform. So far, it appears that the #ZaxofKindness campaign is being run without paid support, as the hashtag has about 17,000 views, and not the millions that are often generated by paid hashtag challenges that go viral on the platform. This could make it more difficult for the organic campaign on TikTok to break through. At the same time, it’s notable that Zaxby’s is incorporating the social video app and other buzzy mobile platforms into its broader marketing approach.

The Georgia-based Zaxby’s, which has 900 locations in 17 states, has made previous moves into mobile and digital channels to reach younger consumers. The chain last year became the exclusive sponsor of Ali Hassan, the professional gamer with 11 million followers on Twitch whose online handle is SypherPK. Hassan is one of the most popular professional players of Fortnite, the battle royale game from Epic Games.

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