- Fast-food chain Wendy's celebrated #NationalFrozenFoodDay on Tuesday, March 6, by taking Twitter jabs at its competitors, specifically McDonald's, per company news made available to Marketing Dive.
- Wendy's kicked off the day with the tweet, "Hey @McDonalds, heard the news. Happy #NationalFrozenFoodDay to you for all the frozen beef that's sticking around in your cheeseburgers." The tweet has more than 31,000 likes and 8,100 retweets at press time.
- Throughout the day, Wendy's posted photos of McDonald's products with lines like "Poor Big Mac, stuck with frozen beef," "Another frozen beef burger" and "It's almost like you still serve way more frozen beef."
Hey @McDonalds, heard the news. Happy #NationalFrozenFoodDay to you for all the frozen beef that’s sticking around in your cheeseburgers.— Wendy's (@Wendys) March 6, 2018
Calling out competitors on social media has been an ongoing — and so far winning — marketing strategy for Wendy's, as the brand's gotten into Twitter spats with McDonald's, Burger King, and Wingstop. Followers typically egg on this type of snarkiness and humor, earning the fast-food chain thousands of likes, retweets and mentions. For this year's Super Bowl ad, it also took direct jabs at McDonald's, lifting language from its rival's site about how the beef in its burgers is "flash frozen" and turning it to a joke. However, with the #NationalFrozenFoodDay stunt, Wendy's might be recognizing that its usual arsenal of insults against McDonald's, in particular, could soon run dry and lose relevance.
McDonald's is in the midst of a revamp of its menu to focus less on artificial foods, including by debuting fresh quarter-ground beef patties in many of its U.S. restaurant locations this year. The brand is expected to soon "go big" with marketing that raises awareness about these changes, according to Ad Age, which could come as a blow to Wendy's long-running value proposition. Since its iconic '80s "Where's the Beef?" campaign, Wendy's has highlighted the quality of its products over its competitors, but that may no longer be as distinguishing a factor for the nation's fourth most popular QSR chain.
Fast-food joints continue to look for creative and entertaining ways to draw consumers to their restaurants, as Americans' eating habits have been evolving to become more health-conscious. Twitter stunts appear to be a way to reach consumers, however, marketers that go this route should be careful not to be too harsh or inappropriate with their messaging so that they don't become off-putting.