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How Wendy’s enabled consumers to get real chicken nuggets from within the metaverse

June 14, 2023 | 5 min read

The campaign won in the Metaverse category at The Drum Awards for Marketing Americas 2023.

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Wendy's took to Horizon Worlds to bring users an exciting, immersive experience

Fast food giant Wendy’s needed to stand out from the competition – and what better way than to bring real food to users in an immersive virtual experience? Welcome to the ‘Wendyverse.’

The Idea

Wendy’s wanted to establish itself as a pioneer in the metaverse and create a distinct presence that engaged fans and went beyond basic logo placements.

The objective was to leverage Wendy’s digital prowess – with the help of key creative partners – to create a one-of-a-kind metaverse experience that would resonate with fans and draw them in.

The Strategy

With the help of Meta Creative Shop, WPP agency VMLY&R, Ketchum and Spark Foundry, Wendy’s embarked on a journey to create a series of whimsical worlds, each reflecting the brand’s unique personality and engaging fans with fun and interactive experiences. And the idea was collaborative: Wendy’s empowered creators to build their own immersive experiences within its ‘Wendyverse.’

Ultimately, the ‘Wendyverse’ comprised four distinct worlds, each designed to captivate users and provide unique experiences. Buck Biscuit Dome, inspired by the Superdome in New Orleans, challenged fans to test their skills on a virtual basketball court. Sunrise City celebrated Wendy’s breakfast offerings with an obstacle course featuring popular menu items. Frosty Village brought the iconic Frosty dessert to life in a winter Olympics-inspired village. Spicy Nugg Island provided a tropical oasis where users could engage in interactive games.

Plus, the fast food chain created easy ways for users to get their hands on real food while engaging in activities in the ‘Wendyverse.’ The activation integrated Wendy’s Rewards offers, driving momentum for the company’s digital business.

The Results

The ‘Wendyverse’ made a splash. Upon its release, it achieved the highest number of daily active users among all created worlds in Horizon Worlds. Over 10,000 fans visited the ‘Wendyverse’ within the first seven days, and 16% of users returned within the first week. Furthermore, 15% of ‘Wendyverse’ residents were completely new to Horizon Worlds, indicating that Wendy’s successfully attracted new users to the metaverse.

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The activation also garnered substantial media attention, generating over 664m earned media impressions. Major outlets, including The Drum, The Wall Street Journal, Entrepreneur and Yahoo! Finance, covered the ‘Wendyverse,’ amplifying its visibility.

Thanks to the integration of Wendy’s Rewards, the restaurant chain saw Rewards membership spike 5% and achieved record US quarterly digital sales in Q2 of last year.

Moving forward, Wendy’s continues to cultivate and foster its online community, promising new experiences for fans within the ‘Wendyverse.’

This campaign won at The Drum Awards for Marketing Americas 2023. Find out more about The Drum’s Global Awards program or head to our case studies hub to read more award-winning stories.

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