McDonald’s celebrated National Egg McMuffin Day by looking over its shoulder at competitor Wendy’s, which entered the fast-food breakfast wars with an all-out marketing assault, including jabs at the expense of the golden arches.
While McDonald’s was giving out free McMuffin sandwiches on the 49th anniversary of its invention, in Times Square, billboards blared tweets from people touting the new Wendy’s breakfast and zinging competitors.
“McDonald’s has just announced a partnership with the NHL to provide them their hockey pucks starting 3/2 given an unexpected surge in supply. #WendysBreakfastBattle,” read one.
“Wendy’s is making breakfast now, meanwhile Burger King is still trying to figure out this whole ‘lunch’ thing everyone’s talking about,” read another.
But the onslaught neither started nor stopped with just a few larger-than-life tweets. Wendy’s began a week ago by teasing breakfast with a “former McDonald’s chef, Mike Haracz,” who, in a series of social videos, eats through the breakfast menu of the Breakfast Baconator, Honey Butter Chicken Biscuit and Frosty-ccino with abandon.
As the launch day rolled out, Wendy’s put out its own TV ad on, ripping on flabby bacon and hashed browns of the competitors while boasting the freshness of its own, as well as a social post that declared the McMuffin dead.
It also offered consumers a free Honey Butter Chicken Biscuit with purchase via the Wendy's mobile app.
"To date, some others in the category have let breakfast consumers down by offering breakfast sandwiches with frozen, folded eggs and pre-cooked bacon. Today, all that changes," said Carl Loredo, chief marketing officer of The Wendy's Company. "We are known for our high-quality food and breakfast is no different. Try any of our craveable items – we believe this menu will become your favorite."
Other activities included sampling at major events like the X-Games and Daytona 500 and engaging exclusively with @Wendy’s 3.6-plus million Twitter followers behind the scenes.