Social media spotlight: Wendy’s brings customer tweets to life in clever soap opera parody vids
Fast food chains face many challenges in their marketing – after all, they’re essentially touting stuff that’s bad for you, and there’s no shortage of vocal opponents happy to tell them so. Social media should offer such brands a useful platform from which to tell their stories, but as we’ve seen time and time again, fast food fails tend to outnumber the wins. McDonalds’ disastrous McStories campaign, Burger King’s hashtag hash up and Chipotle’s ‘hacking’ hell are just a few recent examples.
Wendy’s latest campaign, however, is definitely a win. Promoting its new Pretzel Pub Chicken Sandwich, #PretzelLoveStories sees users’ tweets recited in over-the-top, nonsensical soap-opera style videos. The first saw two men vying for a bride’s attention at the altar, the second saw an illicit meet-up and explosive revelation inside a women’s prison. The videos are blatantly ridiculous, which serves two purposes. Firstly, it protects the brand from negative backlash (after all, the content of the videos is essentially user-generated), and secondly, the relative silliness is fun and relatable. As one YouTube user commented: “I haven’t laughed this hard in forever.”
The first video instalment received more than 1,800 comments and 11,000 likes on Facebook in its first week alone, but it’s not the first social media success the brand has seen. Back in July, the campaign for the Pretzel Bacon Cheeseburger saw Nick Lachey singing diner’s tweets, complete with white tux and white piano. The five videos saw thousands of likes, shares and comments. This kind of ludicrous UGC-inspired stuff does very well with the social media set, so it’s likely this latest campaign will do even better.