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Special Project

Special Project
From the 8th Annual Shorty Awards

Quesopalooza 2015

Entered in Integrated Campaign


Welcome to Moe's! Every year on the third Thursday of September, Moe's Southwest Grill invites fans of all ages to partake in a cup of our famous queso absolutely free. The cheesiest party in all the land, Free Queso Day, aka Quesopalooza, brings the masses together to celebrate originality, create shareable experiences, and of course, bond over their love for Moe's queso.

In 2015, we wanted to elevate our customer journey and really give fans a festival-like experience both online and in the restaurant. With vibrant in-store elements and a curated Spotify playlist, we extended the party online with engaging 3D GIFs, a killer hype video, and weeks full of giveaways, trivia, and overall buzz, culminating in a cheese-filled day that exceeded sales goals and trended nationally on Twitter.

Our objective was to use a layered awareness strategy to create a space both on and offline where people were free to be themselves—an important hallmark of the Moe's brand. From our in-store POP to our dynamic day-of content, Quesopalooza truly proved that #FreeQuesoRocks and engaged both longtime Moe's devotees and new converts alike.

Strategy and Execution

Most people think a guy named Moe started this quirky burrito joint. On the contrary, there isn't a Moe out there somewhere—Moe's actually stands for "Musicians, Outlaws and Entertainers"—something we hope to bring to life in every campaign we execute. When you come to Moe's, we want you to take a load off and stay for a while.

It was important to us that we throw a rockin' party to celebrate our amazing fans, as well as the real star of the show: our famous queso. Making the decision to re-brand Free Queso Day in 2015 to Quesopalooza aligned with one of our greatest passion points—music.

We wanted every guest in our restaurant to have an even more awesome time than normal, and we ignited zealous brand advocates and their online communities to both engage with our content and rally around Moe's.

The rad chip guitar featured prominently on all of our in-store advertising inspired us to create a working one in real life. Together with Moxie, we scripted, built, and shot a video that really captured the essence of both the day and the brand in just two weeks. Released a few days before Quesopalooza, it helped us gain awareness and got fans excited for the awesomeness to come.

In the days leading up to the event, 100 fans and influencers received a curated kit of Quesopalooza merch, much like the ticket boxes you get before attending a festival like Coachella or Bonnaroo. Filled with a limited-edition poster, event ticket and lanyard, bandanna, t-shirt, flash tattoos, water bottle, inflatable chair, portable phone charger and phone case, these kits allowed our fans to get pumped in the way that they would if attending a day-long concert.

All day long September 17, we leveraged a 3-tiered surprise and delight model: Fans talking about Quesopalooza across Facebook, Twitter, SnapChat, and Instagram were awarded with Moe's swag, gift cards, and custom content. Cups of liquid gold made its way to Refinery29, the New York Post, and Eater National, among others.

In a previous promotion we noticed a lot of our target audience engaging with SnapChat, so launching a campaign on this growing platform was not only an important way for us to grow the buzz around Quesopalooza, but also a new way for the brand to engage 1:1 with fans. Using table tents and paid social ads to drive awareness, Moe's made its SnapChat debut and quickly gained 10K followers. We rewarded those loyal fans with the date of Quesopalooza before anyone else, and with exclusive behind-the-scenes content before the main event.

We truly wanted our guests to have an all-encompassing experience that seamlessly connected the real world with online, and to make every person feel like they're part of the fun no matter how near or far. We believe Quesopalooza did just that.


•Twitter drove over a half a million video views and 4.3M impressions across 15 posts between August 25 and September 18, 2015

Grew Snapchat following from 0 to 10K during the 4 weeks of the promotion

•During Quesopalooza on September 17, #FreeQuesoRocks was trending nationwide

•Across the 13 Facebook posts, there was a 22% interaction rate and over 1.4K shares

•Social channels saw a massive spike in followers, including 1.5K on Facebook, 1.1K on Twitter and over 400 on Instagram during this event time period

•Secured 34 unique online placements, 3 on-air broadcast mentions and 5 social media mentions from media resulting in 72M impressions (original goal was 600K-900K total impression)

• We poured nearly 82K lbs of Moe's Famous Queso, or almost 222K cups on this one single day to drive meaningful awareness and trial for Moe's


•"Chip Guitars Rock" received 240K cross-platform views, and is now the 2nd highest video viewed on our YouTube channel with 44K views

•The video was also picked up by Adweek, MTV, Eater, Guitar World,, and a variety of media publications


Video for Quesopalooza 2015

Entrant Company / Organization Name

Moe's Southwest Grill


Entry Credits