T-Mobile teams with Taco Bell, Lyft for freebies via mobile app
- T-Mobile expanded its T-Mobile Tuesdays promotion to offer free tacos from Taco Bell and free rides from ride-hailing service Lyft, per announcements that accompanied its Super Bowl ad campaign. T-Mobile ran an ad during each quarter of the big game on Sunday, with two of the spots highlighting its latest freebies.
- Customers with qualifying cellular plans can use the T-Mobile Tuesdays app to claim their free taco at Taco Bell. The offer is open-ended, although the fine print on its YouTube channel says the free-taco deal is a limited-time offer while supplies last.
- The Lyft offer is only good for $10 off a single ride in February. Starting Feb. 5, T-Mobile customers can use the T-Mobile Tuesdays app to unlock a code to redeem in the Lyft app. T-Mobile said its customers have claimed more than 186 million freebies and deals, including Pandora Plus, Dunkin' credit, Redbox rentals, Atom movie tickets, Live Nation concert tickets and Shell gasoline, among other offers, since the 2016 launch of T-Mobile Tuesdays.
T-Mobile's Super Bowl ads appeared to target the younger mobile generation with its minimalist presentation of text message conversations during the big game. Similarly, the free offers for tacos from Taco Bell and rides from Lyft are geared toward audiences of tech-savvy young adults who are more comfortable using mobile apps than older generations to order food, request a ride or make payments.
T-Mobile made light of the generational difference in its final ad depicting a conversation between a befuddled dad who had mistakenly sent a text to his daughter asking for "best eggplant parm recipes" instead of searching on Google. Not everyone thought the commercials were funny, though, as people took to Twitter to complain about sexist portrayals of women in two of the ads, Business Insider reported.
Before participating in T-Mobile's free offers, Lyft and Taco Bell had partnered on promotions aimed at mobile customers. Lyft partnered with Taco Bell in July 2017 on a "taco mode" feature that let late-night passengers request pit-stops to the Taco Bell drive-thru on the way home. The partnership helped to boost restaurant visits in the promotion area by 3%, mobile tracking firm PlaceIQ found.
The expanded partnerships come as the mobile carrier space grows increasingly competitive. T-Mobile is currently seeking government approval to merge with Sprint as the companies seek greater scale to compete with market leaders Verizon and AT&T, which have invested heavily in mobile advertising platforms and content distribution to attract more customers. The combined T-Mobile and Sprint would have about 130 million mobile subscribers, compared with 154 million for Verizon and 150 million for AT&T, per data compiled by Fierce Wireless.
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