Seeding a multiscreen strategy: Expert advice on marketing to consumers across screens

Chuck Kapelke

The college football players competing in the 2013 Outback Bowl didn't know it, but in the eyes of many viewers, they had been temporarily re-assigned to new teams; one side was playing for Team Bloomin' Onion, the other for Team Coconut Shrimp. That's because a promotional campaign by Bloomin' Brands, owner of Outback Steakhouse, harnessed the power of television, social media, and other channels to engage viewers in a side bet: If the SEC's South Carolina Gamecocks won the game, Outback would give away Bloomin' Onions the next day, but if the Big 10's Michigan Wolverines won, diners would get free coconut shrimp.

"By the end of the game, people were posting things on Twitter like, 'That ref must be on Team Bloomin' Onion for making that call,'" recalls Karen Soots, vice president of media services for Tampa-based Bloomin' Brands. "It was just unreal."