How a dance video contest heated up the buzz for Moe’s

The restaurant chain’s I Love Queso competition bolsters the online chat about a one-day giveaway promotion—and the savory appetizer in general.

Say what you will about the Internet’s effects on communication—it’s certainly a place where new forms of expression flourish.

Take, for instance, relating one’s love of queso dip through dance. That’s what the folks at Moe’s Southwestern Grill asked its fans to do. And they did, some while dripping with liquid cheese.

“We really wanted to give people an opportunity to express their love for queso in sort of an online, community environment,” says Lauren McGowan Barash, director of PR and corporate communications for Moe’s.

Moe’s took in 132 video submissions and more than 104,000 user votes in its I Love Queso dance video contest. The whole thing tied in to the chain’s Free Queso Day on July 20, which was a big success.

The warmup

This year’s promotion was the second time that Moe’s held a Free Queso Day. It’s also the second time the company held a video contest surrounding the giveaway. But the 2010 version was something of a test run, Barash says. “We didn’t really do a lot by way of advertising for it last year,” she says. “We just kind of wanted to see how it would do, going by itself.”

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