Entertainment > Audiovisual Branded Content


VML, Kansas City / WENDY'S / 2018


Gold Cannes Lions
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Wendy's Twitter is known for its sassy tone, and we wanted to see if that voice would translate beyond Twitter. We produced a mixtape launching our Twitter handle (@Wendys) as an official recording artist. Due to a recent rap battle and our exchanges with competitors, we felt hip-hop was the best genre to express our voice - it's only natural for fresh beef to translate seamlessly into the world of rap beef. In addition to the competitive themes, Wendy's brand equities such as the Baconator and even recent campaign success stories like #NuggsForCarter appeared in song lyrics.


The EP launched organically at midnight on March 25 and was tweeted by Wendy's that morning. The EP was loaded into more than 20 streaming music services, but no media was placed to push customers to stream or download the music. Within 48 hours, webeefin? had received more than 500 million earned media impressions and had already skyrocketed to No. 3 on iTunes Hip-Hop charts. Fans took to the internet to celebrate the mixtape by posting reviews, filming original content talking about the music - even filming themselves blaring the music while at the drive-thrus of the competitors mentioned in the song lyrics. For fans who wanted a deeper dive into the lyrics, we featured lyrical annotations on Genius.


With more than 800 million earned media impressions in 10 days from 215 placements (Forbes, USA Today, E! Online and Daily Mail), we made webeefin? a part of pop culture. Listeners streamed 76 years' worth of webeefin? across streaming platforms. webeefin? was also featured on national TV, including "Good Morning America," and on CNN HLN and CNBC channels. @Wendys Twitter launch tweets generated another 14 million impressions with an engagement rate of 17.7 percent, which is seven times our benchmark. The music reached No. 1 on Spotify U.S. and Global Viral 50 charts, beating out eight-time Grammy winning artist Rihanna. It charted on nine other countries' viral charts and reached No. 3 on iTunes Hip-Hop charts.


We created an EP (extended play) with original production, turning our Twitter handle and voice into a recording artist: at Wendys. The project was distributed on multiple platforms, charting on several of them and receiving rave reviews; three of the five tracks landed in the top 10 of Spotify's Global Viral 50. Even artists signed to major labels showed their appreciation for the tape. Wendy's musical project turned into a disruptive advertisement that fans sought out, with some purchasing the project instead of streaming it.


Our social strategy is to stay authentic and organic in our conversations, so we launched Wendy's mixtape in a way that was authentic to the hip-hop community. We took notes from up-and-coming rap artists and replicated that in our mixtape strategy.

Wendy's garnered organic chatter that rivals large-scale campaigns, all because loyal fans enjoyed the content to the point of sharing, reviewing and creating original content that featured webeefin?. Our fans don't typically appreciate advertising, so we created a nonintrusive culture phenomenon that relates to our social voice.


Months before the release, Wendy’s engaged in a rap battle with a competitor on Twitter. Based on a BuzzFeed poll and reactions, fans believed Wendy’s came out on top, and began requesting and anticipating a mixtape from the brand. So we answered them with webeefin?, a five-track EP with some of the from the rap battle and our everyday Tweets. From a briefing and an objective standpoint, the project’s goal was to bring the Wendy’s social voice to life through music in a way that would resonate with hip-hop fans.

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