- After taking shots at McDonald’s on social media for years, Wendy’s is launching a full-on assault against its competitor in the form of a national TV campaign.
- The ads are replete with Wendy’s characteristic tongue-in-cheek sass, and borrow heavily from text-heavy videos on social media.
- It is part of the fast-food chain’s push to highlight that its beef patties are fresh, and not frozen like its competitors’ patties.
Wendy’s is taking its beef with McDonald’s to national TV – literally.
The fast-food chain is launching a whole new TV ad campaign to call out rival McDonald’s for using frozen beef patties in its hamburgers in two ads: a 15-second ad and a 30-second ad. The ads are replete with Wendy’s characteristic tongue-in-cheek sass, and borrow heavily from text-heavy videos on social media.
“We’ve been very sassy on social media and people have responded well to it since our voice is closer to that of a friend versus others which are more like faceless corporations,” said Kurt Kane, Wendy’s chief concept and marketing officer. “We wanted to continue that conversation on a broader scale, but with the same social voice.”
Wendy’s TV campaign is the latest move in the chain’s bid for greater awareness, not around its brand, but around the fact that it uses fresh beef in its own burgers. The brand believes that fresh beef is its key differentiator.
“It comes down to the reality that we offer a better food experience,” said Kane. “We wanted to really highlight the difference in quality.”
Wendy’s has been trying to amp up its fresh beef differentiation for a couple of years. Its Super Bowl ad in 2017, for example, showed a man trying to defrost a pile of frozen burgers with a hairdryer – to educate consumers that it doesn’t serve frozen patties, unlike other chains. But it has never directly called out its competitors on national TV before.
It hasn’t, however, shied away from taking potshots at McDonald’s elsewhere, particularly on social media. The brand recently “complimented” McDonald’s on #NationalComplimentDay on January 24, tweeting out that “They are absolutely amazing at freezing beef.”
They are absolutely amazing at freezing beef.
— Wendy's (@Wendys) January 24, 2018
The push seems to be working. Before Wendy’s Super Bowl ad debuted last year, its research showed that only 3 out of 10 consumers believed that the chain served fresh beef. The number has since gone up to 5 out of 10 consumers who believe that Wendy’s serves fresh, and never frozen beef.
Wendy’s is widely recognized for its fun and sassy online persona. Last year, for example, high-school student Carter Wilkerson asked Wendy’s how many retweets he would need to get free chicken nuggets for a year. The fast-food chain replied that it would take 18 million retweets, and Wilkerson’s tweet subsequently went viral.