Modern Marketing Brand Strategy

Wendy's roasts brands in high-risk social strategy

By John Glenday | Reporter



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January 13, 2022 | 4 min read

Wendy's has conducted itself violently to mark National Roast Day, an unconventional social media strategy designed to give an outlet for the restaurant chain to roast anyone harboring a beef against it. It did not hold back.

The North American fast-food chain invited customers to turn the heat up on social media for public self-flagellation. This modern-day version of medieval stocks sees Wendy's invite fans to let their guard down and voluntarily offer themselves up for free hits from a gleefully enthusiastic social media account manager who is only too happy to land comic blows.


Wendy's roasts brands in high-risk social strategy

It's a high-risk social strategy few brands could pull off.

The annual event, orchestrated by agencies VMLY&R, Ketchum, and Spark Foundry, seeks to firmly ensconce Wendy's at the heart of viral social media interactions for the day. Offering up more tangible inducements the chain offers salty respondents the chance to grab free 'hot and crispy fries' as an outlet for any excess seasoning.

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Daring followers to proffer themselves up for a roasting the stunt drew in brands willing to share the fun including Oculus, Xbox and a cosplay Bowser, both of whom found themselves on the receiving end of Wendy's barbed wit.

Now in its fourth year, the event has become a staple of Wendy's social calendar since first inviting scorn back in 2018.

The Drum put itself forward for some pain too.

Wendy's edgy brand of humour has previously found outlet in a partnership with cult animated sci-fi sitcom, Rick & Morty.

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