- Wendy's received more than 10,000 follower requests in a 36-hour period after locking its Twitter account in the run-up to this week's campaign for a new breakfast menu, per information shared with Mobile Marketer. The fast-food chain briefly took the account private to offer followers a coupon for a free Breakfast Baconator sandwich with any $5 purchase delivered by DoorDash.
- While the account was locked, Wendy's asked its 3.6 million Twitter followers to roast competitors in posts with the #WendysBreakfastBattle hashtag. The company posted the most popular tweets on a video billboard in New York City's Times Square.
- Wendy's also asked its followers to click on a button that sent a direct message to its Twitter account, which auto-responded with a coupon code for DoorDash. However, there was a loophole that let non-followers DM the Wendy's account to receive the coupon, Adweek reported.
Wendy's took a daring approach to promoting a major new breakfast menu offering by locking its Twitter account, giving followers some exclusivity in the activation of an online coupon. The offer of a free breakfast sandwich was a way to reward loyal followers of Wendy's, which has attained a strong following with its sassy attitude that regularly insults rival brands and their customers online. As Adweek notes, it's rare for brands to lock down their accounts, although it's a common growth-hacking strategy for popular meme accounts and some influencers.
By tying its social media campaign with an out-of-home activation (OOH) in Times Square, Wendy's aimed to reach an audience of on-the-go adults who are difficult to reach through channels like broadcast TV and print. OOH is the most preferred ad format among Wendy's target audience of millennials and Generation Z, per a study by researcher Kantar Millward Brown. One of four consumers said they've posted an image of an outdoor ad to Instagram, per Nielsen. Such social sharing helps to extend OOH advertising into mobile platforms, supporting its viral reach.
Wendy's has a history of pushing digital boundaries and trying novel strategies to cut through ad clutter and connect with audiences. The burger chain last fall was the first company to create branded video games in a digital arcade launched by Giphy, the platform of shareable GIF clips. Last year, Wendy's created a branded avatar for the hit multiplayer game "Fortnite" that was popular with U.S. teens. The Wendy's avatar mocked rivals that use frozen beef by entering burger restaurants in the game's unpopulated cityscape and destroying the freezers. Several months later, Wendy's ran a second livestreamed campaign in a "Fortnite" gaming session to promote the launch of Baconfest with limited-time free delivery from DoorDash.