Chicken nuggets craving + retweet mania = big win for Wendy’s

The fast-food chain jokingly responded to a consumer asking for a year of free nuggets, but his stunt is netting the attention that marketers covet. One question: Will he want fries with that?

Could social media monitoring mixed with a contest and sprinkled with sass be the new recipe for viral success?

Twitter user Carter Wilkerson is attempting to break Ellen DeGeneres’ Twitter record of garnering more than 3.27 million retweets and, in the meantime, is showering Wendy’s with free attention.

Here’s how it started: Wilkerson loves Wendy’s chicken nuggets:

On Wednesday, he took his love further by asking the fast-food chain what he would have to do to get a year’s supply:

Wendy’s—whose penchant for replying to Twitter users with snarky tweets has attracted admirers—responded with a joke:

Wilkerson took the joke to heart—and thousands of Twitter users have done so as well.

At time of publishing, Wilkerson’s pinned tweet has more than 908,000 retweets—a long way off from 18 million, but The Verge reported that if the momentum to help him achieve his goal continues, he’s on track:

At the time of this post, Carter’s tweet has over half a million retweets in under 20 hours. And while that’s a far cry from the 18 million he’ll need to achieve chicken nugget nirvana, if he can keep garnering tweets at the rate he’s going, he’ll break Ellen’s record in a few days. And from there? Anything could happen.


Wilkerson—whose Twitter feed is littered with retweets from those supporting his mission—is continuing to tweet about his addiction:

Wendy’s social media team is also enjoying—and perpetuating—the ride:

Though the move “happened by accident,” it’s given the brand much more attention, both online and in headlines, than its official March Madness contest did:

It’s also cost-effective. The Verge reported:

Obviously, this is an easy social media win for Wendy’s. Should Carter win, its could fulfill its debt with, say, a bare minimum of a 4 piece nugget per day, which in Carter’s hometown of Reno, Nevada, comes out to $395 (including tax, but not including the costs associated with ketchup packets), in exchange for bountiful free publicity.

Social media managers should note the importance of monitoring conversations online, because even though it might seem that replying to consumers’ jokes and food pics is a waste of time and resources, Wendy’s shows off its potential to shine. Several other companies, including Burger King and Taco Bell, have used the tactic to boost their brand in the eyes of younger consumers.

(Image by Phil Denton, via)


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