Cannes Lions

#NuggsForCarter

KETCHUM, Atlanta / WENDY'S / 2017

Awards:

1 Silver Cannes Lions
1 Bronze Cannes Lions
Presentation Image
Presentation Image
Case Film

Overview

Entries

Credits

Overview

Description

Our highly motivated teenager’s quest for free Wendy’s Nuggets went viral, as global brands, celebrities and Twitter itself began rooting for Carter. Starting with 140 retweets, Carter earned 1 million retweets in 48 hours. Impressive, but the 18 million goal still loomed.

Considering that the record for the most retweets in Twitter history was 3.2 million, owned by popular TV talk show host Ellen DeGeneres when she posted her unforgettable selfie from the 2014 Academy Awards, we decided it was time to move the goalpost. It wasn’t 18 million retweets that mattered, but could an unknown kid who simply wanted his Wendy’s Nuggets topple the most celebrity-loaded selfie in Twitter history?

The PR team took the question directly to “Ellen,” and launched perhaps the most likeable feud in history. Convincing Ellen to take the #NuggsforCarter campaign personally, we helped it become THE trending pop culture media story of April 2017.

Execution

Teenager Carter Wilkerson tweets: yo @Wendys how many retweets for a year of free chicken nuggets. Wendy’s replies: “18 million.” Carter responds: “Consider it done.” Game on.

Wilkerson generates 1+ million retweets, collecting support from major corporations and celebrities.

We recruit Ellen DeGeneres to take up the cause AGAINST Carter, who is now threatening her Twitter record. Ellen brings film star and selfie photographer Bradley Cooper on her show to throw down the gauntlet.

We up the ante by pledging $100,000 to charity if Carter breaks the record.

We get the TODAY show on the case. Their story convinces Ellen to have Carter on her show.

Carter appears on “Ellen” – her third show on the topic – and tells the world, “Honestly, I just want chicken nuggets.”

Cascading publicity makes #NuggsforCarter one of the hottest trending stories in the entire media landscape.

Outcome

#NuggsforCarter continues on an unstoppable track to set all-time retweet records, generate positive brand awareness for Wendy’s, and become a best practice case study of the influential power and value of organic earned media (spoiler alert: of course, Carter Wilkerson gets his beloved Nuggs, and sets a new world record for most retweeted tweet.)

Tier 1: Media Outputs

• 2.5+ billion earned media impressions from 1,076 placements in the month of April, including top-tier national outlets like Fast Company, The New York Times, TODAY Show, Time, NPR, and USA Today.

Tier 2: Target Audience Outcomes

• Carter’s tweet about Wendy’s chicken nuggets surpassed 3.5 million+ retweets — becoming the most-retweeted tweet ever.

• Over 5 million online mentions of Carter’s quest for Wendy’s nuggets, also organically boosting conversation mentioning Wendy’s by 376% year over year.

• Other leading brand giants like Guinness World Records, Twitter, Amazon, Microsoft and Google joined the online conversation — along with celebrities like “Breaking Bad” actor Aaron Paul, comedian Andy Milonakis and T-Mobile CEO John Legere.

• Twitter verified Carter’s account AND created a custom emoji triggered by the #NuggsForCarter hashtag, already used 234,000+ times.

• @Wendys earned 213,000 new Twitter followers and 23.9 million visits to its Twitter profile – just through April.

Yes, people do need their Wendy’s Nuggs, and Wendy’s certainly appreciates super fans like Carter, who proved to the world that one teen’s influence can go a long, long way.

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2022, WENDY'S

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