Wendy’s takes to Twitter to taunt McDonald’s

Wendy’s, the quick-service restaurant (QSR) chain, has deployed Twitter, the social network, as a powerful tool for building consumer engagement.

In a marketing ecosystem where there seems to be no agreement on the most reliable metric, Wendy’s has a measurement standard unlike any other:

If the people who work at McDonald’s headquarters in Chicago “aren’t kicking a trashcan every morning because of something we did, then we probably didn’t do yesterday right,” Kurt Kane, Wendy’s chief concept and m

… but also the attention (and endorsement) of a number of influential social brands, including Amazon, Microsoft, Google, and LinkedIn. Carter got his nuggets (and, with them, an all-time global record for retweets)… … and Wendy’s got a new window into reaching consumers who wanted a break from the steady spate of television advertising that seems to dominate the QSR category. And, for the dressing on this marketing burger, it even was able to inject a soupçon of purpose-driven impact to celebrate Carter’s achievement with a $100,000 donation in his name to the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption. “When you look at social media,” Kane explained, “what we had to do was use it as an opportunity to get the real, authentic, connection with people in a way that we talk at work every day about who we are, what we’re trying to do, what we’re doing across the Wendy’s system. “We turned the [marketing] team loose to have a lot of fun with doing that. The more authentic we’ve been, the more genuine we’ve been, the more direct we’ve been in talking about competitors and how we view ourselves as unique, different and special from them, the more successful we’ve been. “Every time we’ve done that very directly, we’ve seen people engage like crazy. And I think that’s given us more and more confidence to keep going down that path.” And the power of that social opportunity became fully apparent when Wendy’s got cheeky with its category leader via what it called a “” strategy, an effort that not only paid off in social-media engagement, but also scored recognition with a 2018 Gold Lion for Social Community Building and Engagement at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity. In essence, Doubter Hooks was a series of challenges that the brand issued to McDonald’s. The 280-word creative tidbits were designed to engage – to tempt “doubters” to post a negative or skeptical reply. And, when those messages popped up, it was game on for the brand’s social-media community-management team. Witness: McDonald’s runs a spot to tout what it perceived to be a competitive advantage: “Our beef is flash frozen to seal in fresh flavor.” Wendy’s took the boast and turned it on its head: Explained Kane, “We take our food very seriously, but our entire social media team has a lot of fun just engaging with people organically.”