Cannes Lions

Meat Tweet

VMLY&R, Kansas City / WENDY'S / 2022

Awards:

1 Shortlisted Cannes Lions
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Overview

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Credits

Overview

Background

Wendy’s, the No. 2 hamburger fast-food restaurant in America, is iconic for its brand voice, from “Where’s the beef?” on television in the 1980s to Twitter roasts of its competition today. While primarily focused on our core differentiator of fresh, never frozen beef and roasting the competition's use of the inferior frozen beef, Wendy’s social media takes the brand to places no other brand could. We’ve developed a cult following, established #NationalRoastDay as a national holiday and transformed Wendy’s into material for pop culture. We use social media to vault to the top of consumers’ minds in more unique and memorable ways than our competition, which matters when mealtime decisions are impulse decisions, and the top-of-mind brand is the one that gets the visit.

Therefore, our challenge is to vault to the top of consumers' minds in more unique and memorable ways than our competition.

Idea

With just four words, Wendy's turned the biggest social network's biggest announcement into a headline for Wendy’s core product: MEAT.

With billions of users on Facebook, it makes sense that there would be billions of opinions and conversations about its name change from Facebook to Meta. How might Wendy’s use the cultural waves of such a massive announcement to turn another brand’s announcement into one for Wendy’s?

By doing what we do best: taking to Twitter in real time with wit, charm and sass. We announced we were changing our name to meat, and soon everyone was talking about Wendy’s name change too.

Strategy

Social media has transformed news into content and content into news. Platforms such as Twitter can turn users' tweets, whether from world leaders, celebrities or everyday people, into headline news either from world leaders, celebrities, or everyday ordinary people.

When the announcement of Facebook’s name change began to make cultural waves and generate billions of opinions and comments, we knew we could join the conversation by using Wendy’s ability and proven history of turning tweets into headlines. How could we use the magnitude of the real-time moment to make it about Wendy’s?

Execution

Wendy’s, the No. 2 hamburger fast-food restaurant in America, is iconic for its brand voice, from “Where’s the beef?” on television in the 1980s to Twitter roasts of its competition today. While primarily focused on our core differentiator of fresh, never frozen beef and roasting the competition's use of the inferior frozen beef, Wendy’s social media takes the brand to places no other brand could. We’ve developed a cult following, established #NationalRoastDay as a national holiday and transformed Wendy’s into material for pop culture. We use social media to vault to the top of consumers’ minds in more unique and memorable ways than our competition, which matters when mealtime decisions are impulse decisions, and the top-of-mind brand is the one that gets the visit.

When Facebook — the largest social media company in the world, home to more than 2.89 billion users — announced it was changing its company name from Facebook to Meta, there were billions of opinions.

But opinions don’t become newsworthy until an expert or authority weighs in. And as the resident authority on opinions via social media roasting, Wendy’s found a way in on the announcement.

Tweeting just four words — “changing name to meat.” — Wendy's turned the biggest social network's biggest announcement into a headline for Wendy’s core product: MEAT.

Mentions of Wendy’s across social media increased by more than 625% as our tweet generated more than 17 million organic Twitter impressions. Twitter founder Jack Dorsey even shared it. Media shared it and generated 118 million earned media impressions. However, the truest form of validation came when Mark Zuckerberg himself declared that Wendy’s reaction to the name change was the best reaction.

Outcome

Everyone began talking about Meta and Wendy’s. Mentions of Wendy’s across social media increased by more than 625% as our tweet generated more than 17 million organic Twitter impressions. Twitter founder Jack Dorsey even shared it. Media shared it and generated 118 million earned media impressions. However, the truest form of validation came when Mark Zuckerberg himself declared that Wendy’s reaction to the name change was the best reaction. Therefore, we were able to turn the biggest social network’s biggest announcement into a headline for Wendy’s core product: meat.

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