Battle Of The 2 Dishes – Mexican Grill Restaurant’s Queso Showdown

Certain brands are still leveraging the potential of Facebook, even though we realise that Facebook marketing has almost reached its decline stage. However, one clever mexican restaurant created social media campaigns on various social networking websites to target the biggest community at once to visit their facebook page.


Qdoba Mexican Grill is a chain of fast casual Fresh Mex restaurants in the U.S. and Canada serving Mexican-style cuisine. They ran a viral campaign which engaged the fan base and brought in insightful results. This campaign also increased traffic to its facebook page.

The restaurant organized the Qdoba’s Queso Showdown, a campaign where fans had to vote between two dishes, and results will be updated in real-time every few hours, until the contest ended in 24 hours. The dish that won would be given out to everyone who had voted for it for free on a single day.

The regular updating of results made it more exciting and encouraging for fans to join in the campaign. Posts of votes were spreading like wildfire Facebook, and friends could see which dish their friends voted for as well.  It showed how fans are still engaged with the effort in real time, and generated more buzz and excitement around the whole venture.

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A good, old-fashioned vote is one thing and using this particular theme to their benefits is another. After the completion of the campaign, customers could add on the winning dish(Queso Dlablo) to their orders for free in all participating restaurants, for the WHOLE MONTH!
-Image is an update of halfway mark results throughout the campaign.-
The campaign worked out successfully even when the concept of voting and liking of posts to garner attention on Facebook has withered out. Fans of Qdoba showed keen interest as such the campaign was able to increase user engagement and take it to an entirely new level.
A post on the official page of the brand on Facebook read, ‘The votes were closer than anything we’d ever seen – 16,664 for Queso Verde and 16,680 for Diablo – but in the end, Queso Diablo pulled through for the win!’
It was a very smart move by Qdoba to garner attention with the use of digital marketing. Because in the end, customers get the free dish for a month, Qdoba gets the profits for a year!
But they might have to think of another campaign again, possibly not using Facebook the next time as it is not a very popular choice of social media for advertising recently.

11 thoughts on “Battle Of The 2 Dishes – Mexican Grill Restaurant’s Queso Showdown

  1. This is a really smart consumer driven marketing campaign. I feel like it’s a twist on the campaigns McDonalds run that give out free cups with meals during the olympics and their monopoly campaigns that could win you a car (highly unlikely). Except in this campaign everyone gets something just for participating. I think commitment free advertising is the way of the future.


    1. Thanks for your constructive comments. Yep, thats the word – commitment free advertising. It indeed captures the non-business peoples’ perception that they will
      be gaining from the free stuffs, but in fact, the winners are actually the owners. What a cruel, manipulative world… But don’t worry, here’s a free burger to cheer you up…


  2. I like this campaign. It’s a clever way to get people talking about your brand, and raising awareness amongst their networks.

    I’m a little intrigued by your final comment that maybe they shouldn’t use Facebook. Why not?


    1. Hey Wags, well because I think Facebook has become a saturated medium for businesses to promote themselves. The Mexican Grill Restaurant’s campaign will have to think of fresher advertising ideas if they want to continue to use Facebook as a form of marketing. In my opinion, Facebook is a better medium for friends and families to connect with each other, not businesses. What do you think?


      1. If your customers are on FB, surely that’s a solid reason to try and reach them on that same platform. But, as you suggest, maybe in new, “fresher” ways.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. And firms will have to try even harder to stand out in the saturated facebook marketing industry. Great point! But I think advertising on other social medias these days could also prove to be as effective as facebook. Additionally, there will be more areas to think of marketing ideas in newer social medias, because SnapChat (for example), is still pretty new and many potentials in this platform are still left untapped.


  3. Like you said although Facebook is not the best for advertising, there campaign was able to attract people to the Facebook page. This shows effective campaigns can still get attention.


    1. Hi Ash, yes but I figured facebook is becoming more saturated in terms of its marketing. Today, firms have to try so hard to stand out in Facebook, when they could turn to SnapChat or Instagram’s platform, where more advertising tactics can be discovered and created because many potential areas in these social medias are still untapped. If firms can make something in SnapChat or Instagram go Viral, it will be a fresh new exposure for the wide community.


  4. This very much reminds me of Kickstarter – potential customers vote (only this time, for free) on which option they’d like to see come to fruition. The free dish is a nice touch, too, but again, those who vote-nate to a Kickstarter project generally get some sort of free incentive too, be it merchandise or an official mention. So clearly, the tactic still works.

    I’m also a little confused as to why you’ve suggested they not use Facebook. More than 32,000 votes (I’m assuming they’re each separate and individual) is a pretty decent showing, and although I’m not sure what sort of attention they’ve had to purchase to get people onto their page.

    Once the user IS on their page, it doesn’t cost anybody anything. The viral element worked well enough, so it’s reasonable to assume they didn’t have to spread a great deal of honey to attract the worker bees. When it comes to “vote-for-your-favourite” campaigns (favoured by food & drink establishments), perhaps the tactic’s effectiveness is declining in the long term, but as Ash said, the proof (of the effectiveness) is in the pudding (of the creative campaign).

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I agree with you that Facebook may not be the best way to advertise anymore…especially to new customers but I think it is still highly effective with existing customers. If they’ve made the effort to like your page they obviously want to stay up to date with your brand’s promotions. This seems like a campaign designed for them so I think it was highly appropriate. I do question how effective ‘free’ products are in marketing though. Personally….I just take free stuff and run.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Can’t be blamed, who doesn’t like free stuff?:p but that’s precisely what draws people into the marketing campaign, which is what the company wants. But yeah you’re right, the campaign is designed for the current followers. But in order to reach further to touch on newer and younger consumers who likes fast food (and newer social medias), it may be a wise idea to look into SnapChat and Instagram marketing.


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