Time To Order Dinner Through Your TV, For Some Reason

Roku and DoorDash are partnering up to deliver food through advertising.

When you're at home glued to the latest episode of The Last of Us, it's hard to want to get up and do anything, much less fix yourself dinner. This is why Roku and DoorDash are banking on your desire to stay fused to the couch when you get hungry, and they're partnering up to profit off of it. Restaurant Business Online reports that viewers will soon be able to order a meal through their TV via interactive advertising while watching a show.

How does ordering food through Roku work?

These ads will appear not only on the Roku app's home page, but also during TV programming. To order food, users will have the choice of scanning a QR code that appears on screen or entering their phone number. If you choose the latter, a link will be sent to your mobile device that directs you to a DoorDash ordering page. A DoorDash account is required in order to place an order.

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What’s the benefit of ordering DoorDash via TV?

You might be wondering why you'd want to order your food via Roku. After all, there's nothing stopping you from pausing your show or movie, whipping out your phone, and flicking through the DoorDash app, right?

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Wendy's is taking that into consideration. It's the first company that has purchased advertising in this manner, in order to woo Roku users. To entice viewers to order via TV, Wendy's will offer exclusive customer discounts through Roku, such as $5 off of a minimum order of $15. So if you're already hungry, exposed to Wendy's marketing, and lured by a special offer, this new system is geared to tip you over the edge, removing any friction in placing an impulse order.

Roku is also sweetening the deal by granting its users access to six months of DashPass, a tier of DoorDash membership that eliminates delivery fees from eligible restaurants. This service usually costs $9.99 a month, so that's essentially $60 in free membership and potentially much more than $60 waived in delivery fees. Clearly, Roku and DoorDash really, really want this to work.

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We're inundated with advertising every day, so I'm somewhat skeptical that this will be a home run, especially in the short term; my brain is skilled at tuning out any corporate suggestions for how I should spend my money. But this Roku/DoorDash partnership is undeniably a calculated move with the data to back it up: Roughly one-third of Roku's users order takeout or delivery at least once a week.

If the stars are aligned and this strategy works, it could usher in a new wave of (intrusively) interactive advertising and broaden the horizons of shoppable content. Big brands have never had more access to our wallets than they do right now—what better way to capitalize on that than by appealing to our growling stomachs?

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