Hooters: How a Location-Based Campaign Drove March Madness Fans to Hooters


Campaign Summary

Hooters developed a mobile-first, location-based campaign encouraging fans to visit their locations throughout March Madness.



Hooters partnered with Morrison, its ad agency, and GroundTruth, a leading provider of location-based marketing solutions, to develop and execute the campaign. In order to build awareness and drive visits, Hooters optimized upper and lower funnel channels with dynamic connected TV (CTV) and mobile ads to reach key audiences and drive them to their local Hooters location.

Target Audience:

The target audience was males between 18 and 35, who recently visited a Hooters location or another high-indexing brand.

Creative Strategy:

Hooters wanted to remind fans that there is no better place to grab some wings and root for their favorite team during "can't miss" sporting events, like March Madness. To ensure maximum customer reach and engagement, Hooters developed a multichannel campaign focused on encouraging fans to visit their local Hooters to watch the tournament. CTV generated audience awareness and engagement with non-skippable ads and scannable QR codes while mobile ads encouraged diners to find their nearest location.

Hooters used location-based audience targeting to zero in on its core audience segment — males between 18 and 35, who recently visited a Hooters location or another high-indexing brand. In addition, retail block targeting enabled the team to reach and influence audiences near a Hooters location in real time.


This was the second year of the Hooter's March Madness campaign. During the first year, a small test campaign with a $5,000 budget ran on CTV. This year, the brand quadrupled that budget to $20,000 and increased the budget for mobile to $60,000. By increasing the CTV budget based on the previous year's performance, Hooters was able to keep the best performing tactics while also adapting to a more CTV-focused strategy.


Overall Campaign Execution:

The overall campaign budget was $80,000. Seventy-five percent of the budget was allocated to mobile as the combination of retail block targeting and mobile ads drove audiences to their local Hooters location. In all, 17,600 visits were driven by mobile ads.

Location-based audience targeting zeroed in on Hooters' core audience segment of males between 18 to 35 who had recently visited a Hooters, competitor location, or a high-indexing brand. This targeting tactic effectively drove 70 percent of the visits generated by the campaign, showcasing the importance of accurate audience identifiers. Furthermore, retail block targeting reached and influenced audiences near a Hooters location. This segment was engaged in real time with a .21 percent mobile ad click-through-rate (CTR).

Mobile Execution:

Tapping into the right channels is just as important as leveraging precise targeting tactics. With this campaign, Hooters created one cohesive and complementary campaign that was activated across CTV and mobile media channels. CTV generated audience awareness and engagement about the Hooters March Madness dining experience with non-skippable ads and scannable QR codes, while mobile ads helped reach users further down the funnel to find the nearest Hooters location.

Business Impact (including context, evaluation, and market impact)

Over the last couple of years, COVID-19 severely impacted the restaurant industry by limiting indoor dining throughout the pandemic. Major seasonal events like March Madness are tentpole marketing activation opportunities for casual dining brands like Hooters.

While COVID's indoor restrictions were long lifted when the campaign was activated, consumers were still transitioning to full normalcy. Once markets started experiencing relief, Hooters wanted to take the opportunity to remind its core audience about its fun and unique dining experience while watching major sporting events.

Overall, this campaign influenced over 20,000 visits to Hooters locations, an average of 1,000 visits a day, and a 200 percent visitation lift within a three-week timeframe. CTV ad spots generated more than 800,000 impressions with a nearly 97 percent video completion rate (VCR), almost 16 percent higher than the industry average. Mobile ads were responsible for driving 85 percent of total visits throughout the campaign, while CTV drove the remaining 15 percent.

Diners who were served with ads across both CTV and mobile channels were over 2.5 times more likely to visit a Hooters location than those served only a CTV or mobile ad. With a nearly 8 percent store visitation rate (SVR), this multichannel campaign proved that more connection points with a core audience drives better outcomes.

Categories: | Industries: | Objectives: Geo Targeting | Awards: X Global Finalist