- Fast-food chain Carl's Jr. is celebrating both its fans and haters with a Twitter awards campaign called #TheThickies, Adweek reported.
- #TheThickies, which are named after the chain's Thickburgers, will give awards to Twitter followers in a number of categories, including Best Reply, Best DM, Best Food Selfie, Best Hater, Best Fan, Best Influencer and more. Winners will be announced on March 4 — the same day as the Oscars — with an awards show-style presentation.
- Content posted within the past year is eligible for an award, but a brand spokesperson told Adweek that those who post this week have the best chance at a win. Prizes include a trophy and $25 Carl's Jr. gift card.
With #TheThickies, Carl's Jr. is riding on the excitement and considerable social media chatter heading into the Academy Awards this weekend. In putting preference toward more recent posts, the campaign might drive engagement and a greater number of posts around the event. Consumers appreciate opportunities to be called out directly by brands, especially if there's a potential reward involved. Efforts like this can backfire, however, if there's low participation or if too many posts are negative, with followers using the opportunity to share their grievances with a company, as they're wont to do on social media.
By giving out tongue-in-cheek awards like Best Hater, Carl's Jr. joins a growing list of fast-food chains that leverage Twitter to establish a more laid-back but still socially-savvy image. Wendy's and Burger King also frequently use the platform to call out their fans, haters and competitors in snarky ways. Twitter feuds and humorous conversation can help brands gain a following and amplify their messaging at the same time. #TheThickies campaign comes at a time when Carl's Jr. is trying hard to differentiate itself from fellow CKE Restaurants company Hardee's after abandoning a marketing strategy that was notorious for putting a focus on scantily-clad women.
Other brands have recently seen success with awards-themed campaigns on social media. Honda last month launched a targeted social media campaign on Facebook and Twitter, where followers could nominate their friends for a series of awards and receive a personalized video award trophy featuring their name. The first week of the campaign saw about 550 nominations, and Twitter engagement surpassed Honda's core engagement rates by 543%.