A good promotional product is all about perceived value. It doesn't have to be made out of solid gold, but if a product looks like it's well made and of good quality, people are more likely to hang onto it for a while.
Denny's is selling a T-shirt as part of a Black Friday promotion that might only cost $5.99, but is really worth more than $2,000. That's because it's a ticket to a free Everyday Value Slam meal every day for a year.
The T-shirt features a unique QR code sewn into the sleeve of the T-shirt, so Denny's staff can redeem the free meal. Only 150 were made, so anyone looking to score a year's worth of free breakfast will need to go to the Diner Drip web store on Nov. 24 at 12 AM EST.
"This year has been particularly tough on Americans' wallets," said Denny's president John Dillon in a press release. "At Denny's, we're always looking for new ways to provide value for our diners while delighting them with delicious food, so creating an innovative, first-of-its-kind wearable offer to unveil on Black Friday was a natural decision for us. The wearable represents a fresh expression of our ongoing commitment to value, and we look forward to hearing what our fans think and seeing the shirts in our restaurants."
Denny's introduced the Diner Drip store this summer with a collection of streetwear-influenced branded products like sweats, umbrellas, jackets and hats.
With so many competitors in the food space using branded apparel and merchandise, Denny's is using one of the oldest tricks in the book to draw attention: free food. Who doesn't want the chance to win free breakfast for a year? If people miss out on the T-shirt, they might at least stick around and get themselves something else from the Diner Drip store.
It's also a good use of QR codes, which we have seen take off since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. Though ubiquitous, they weren't as widely used until restaurants started using them on menus, and print displays used them for accessing crucial information.
Things like this elevate a T-shirt from a basic apparel choice to a useful tool for branding in the 21st Century.