Wingstop and Barkley complete first-ever Periscope auction in style


By Doug Zanger | Americas Editor

August 2, 2016 | 3 min read

Why should Facebook Live have all the fun? Kansas City-based indie Barkley, never one to turn away from something fun and engaging, took to Periscope late last week for the first-ever auction on the live, Twitter-owned platform to celebrate National Chicken Wing Day. Items up for grabs included a $1,500 VIP concert experience, customs Nike shoes, a Talib Kweli-signed vinyl record and, or course, a $1,000 Wingstop gift card. Several other items, of varying value, were part of the auction as well. People who tapped the most hearts, “thumps” in Wingstop’s language, won the merchandise.

Periscope is Wingstop’s long-prioritized platform and has broadcast musicians and artists from a branded green room and broke the news of quarterback Paxton Lynch’s drafting by the Denver Broncos, scooping ESPN five minutes before the broadcast announcement.

“It was an easy decision for us,” said Katy Hornaday, Barkley creative director. “Twitter is where our most core fans are and where most of our conversation is, and Periscope was a natural evolution of that platform. It was a more ripe platform for innovation.”

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One tricky aspect of the event was metrics. Periscope doesn't deliver detailed tracking, so Barkley, with 40Digits, a partner company who led the technical development, had to customize a method to track hearts and create a leaderboard.

“As a team, we liked the challenge that Periscope doesn't have an open API and that other brands hadn't cracked this code yet,” said Hornaday. “We built an innovative way to gamify the Periscope experience and have some fun with our fans. We found a way to calculate all of the hearts from users and determine who had hearted the most in a given amount of time. We had to accurately bring in the heart data of each user while staying within the boundaries of Periscopes terms of service and developed a proprietary way to capture the public data that's openly available through Periscope’s browser app. Allowing us to capture the information in real time and use Periscope in a way no one else has.”

The results showed some significant lift and engagement:

  • Online sales made up 20 per cent for Wingstop’s sales for the day, compared to 10 per cent a year ago
  • Total live views were approximately 26,000
  • 65 days worth of live video was watched
  • Total heart growth on Periscope was from 9,432 to 826,118; Over 8600 per cent growth in 33 hours
  • 7,560 Twitter mentions; 5.25 mentions per minute; Almost 100% increase per average day

Impressively, Periscope appeared to be on board with the entire project as their CEO, Kayvon Beykpour, shared the launch video. Additionally, Wingstop, according to the data Barkley could find, has more hearts than any other restaurant competitor (Taco Bell had about 87,000 to date) and even The White House.

It’s safe to say this was considered a rousing success and a template for future Periscope fun.

“Our fans clearly had a blast with this,” noted Hornaday. “We’re already thinking about how to gamify it in different ways and ‘Thump’ will be around for as long as we can keep getting it to work.”


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