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Olive Garden Pits North Against South (in Italian Food, That Is)

Northern Tour of Italy
Northern Tour of ItalyCourtesy Olive Garden

In the latest marketing-fueled rivalry that you never wanted to take sides in—we’re only just recovering from all the skirmishing over Team Edward or Team Jacob—restaurant chain Olive Garden is now asking diners to take a stand for Northern or Southern Italian cuisine.

In a new campaign that runs through Jan. 2, dishes from “Team North” or “Team South” are on Olive Garden menus for a limited time, and diners can vote to decide which stay on. So far, Team North is winning, but either way, it’s a vote for Team Olive Garden—not only does the restaurant get to engage with customers this way, it also gets their e-mail addresses, which are requested during voting. That’s handy for any marketer. And users can make additional votes by linking to their social media accounts.