Denny's cooks up Twitter meme, gets viral smash

Dive Brief:

  • Diner chain Denny's' official Twitter page posted a tweet that’s taken the platform by storm, earning props from a variety of big names including Chelsea Clinton, according to Marketing Land. At time of publication, the tweet had over 150,000 likes and 100,000 retweets, making it the brand's most popular tweet of all time.  
  • Denny's' tweet is a variation on the "zoom-in" Twitter meme, which asks users to zoom in on various points in a still image that conceal hidden text that then directs users to the next point of text until reaching an eventual message or punchline. Denny's zoom-in journey ends on a note that reads: "has this distracted you from overwhelming existential dread lol."
  • "This was a great example of our social media team both clearly knowing our brand and closely paying attention to topics that are trending and gaining popularity with our guests and fans," Denny's CMO John Dillon told Marketing Land in an emailed statement. "When the team saw how people were reacting to the new 'Zoom In' meme, they quickly drafted a version that fit the Denny’s voice, but in a way that stayed true to the actual meme."

Dive Insight:

How "existential dread" ties into Denny's "voice" is a little unclear, but the brand might be signaling that it provides comfort food and welcome distraction in otherwise highly politically-divisive, troubling times.

The "zoom in" meme also comes with a nice deal of interactivity built-in for brands, asking users to touch on various points of an image to engage with extra-small text. However, any marketers' future efforts to replicate Denny's' success might get them slapped with the copycat label.

The formula for going viral, as the zoom-in tweet has, is often incredibly elusive and hard to replicate for marketers. Memes are popular with users by definition, but brands' attempts to turn them into advertisements or other messages has to carefully balance tone to not sound out-of-touch or too trendy.

Memes often have an incredibly short shelf life as well, making them a poor fit for more evergreen content or lasting campaigns, especially on social, where trending hashtags can die with the churn of the media cycle.   

Denny's big win also highlights how Twitter, though struggling in myriad ways, remains a solid platform for building brand buzz and media mindshare.

Follow on Twitter

Filed Under: Social Media Trends Corporate News Mobile
Top image credit: Denny's