Whether it’s for more food, more fun, or more play, Chuck E. Cheese’s has been bringing families together to enjoy more of the things they love for 40 years. Known as America’s number-one place for birthdays, the brand has made millions of kids’ birthday wishes come true by providing a safe, exciting space for them to celebrate their special day.

CEC wanted to make it easier for busy parents to say ‘yes’ to giving their kids more of the Chuck E. Cheese’s they love all year long.

But even at the place Where A Kid Can Be A Kid®, birthdays only come once a year. The brand wanted to make it easier for busy parents to say ‘yes’ to giving their kids more of the Chuck E. Cheese’s they love all year long—because family fun shouldn’t be reserved for special occasions.

The Ask

Chuck E. Cheese’s (CEC) was in a unique situation: although it had high brand awareness, its customers tended to view a trip to CEC as a special treat. The brand wanted to make it more convenient and affordable for parents and guardians to bring their kids to Chuck E. Cheese’s for everyday fun—so in September of 2017, CEC asked DEG to help it create and launch its first national loyalty program.

The objective of the program was to offer customers exclusive rewards that would entice them to visit more frequently. DEG would lead the program’s creative development and strategy and provide technical consultation. The brands planned to launch the loyalty program nationwide in February.

The Answer

First, DEG got to work conceptualizing the program’s creative DNA. The Chuck E. Cheese brand is playful, fun, and kid-first, and its loyalty program needed to both reflect this sentiment and appeal to parents and guardians, who would be the target audience of the program’s marketing. As a result, DEG named the program More Cheese Rewards, designed its recognizable pizza bowtie logo, and created the program’s voice and style guide.

Once the creative DNA was finalized, DEG started developing a strategy for More Cheese Rewards that would offer value to CEC’s customers through hard and soft benefits, while maintaining focus on the kid and family experience.

With its strong email list, CEC already had a captive audience available to target for the growing program.

With its strong email list, CEC already had a captive audience available to target for the growing program. With this in mind, the companies implemented a cross-channel strategy centered around email. DEG created multiple automated email journeys for onboarding, membership updates, and birthday perks, redesigned CEC’s transactional emails, and incorporated evergreen progressive profiling content areas into CEC’s email templates. To further engage CEC’s email subscribers, DEG implemented Ad Studio in SFMC to allow CEC to better segment and advertise to its current list and find potential new audiences.

Because most customers first visit a Chuck E. Cheese’s for a birthday party, the companies implemented in-store acquisition touchpoints such as SMS messaging, receipt messaging, and register prompts to capture new customers’ information and offer them rewards for return visits.

In addition to developing the More Cheese Rewards creative DNA and strategy, DEG also provided technical consultation for the program. All real-time member updates and customer communications would be powered by an integration of Heroku, NCR (POS), Salesforce Marketing Cloud, and Salesforce CRM, so it was vital that data points collected from each integration worked together to provide CEC with a 360-degree view of each customer.

The Results

In its first few months, the program had already made an impressive impact on CEC’s business and is on track to hit its membership goal by the end of the year.

After five months from start to finish, DEG and CEC successfully launched the More Cheese Rewards loyalty program on schedule.

In its first few months, the program had already made an impressive impact on CEC’s business and is on track to hit its membership goal by the end of the year. DEG and CEC are currently testing different loyalty rewards, including unlimited playtime for kids, and will continue to monitor the program’s growth.

Chuck E. Cheese’s has always been the place where a kid can be a kid. Now that it’s made it easier for parents to say ‘yes’, it’s also the place where a parent can be a hero.

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