This article originally ran in 2019 and is part of our annual countdown of the most-viewed stories from PR Daily.
Sometimes a nugget of online inspiration is just waiting for an opportunity—or, in Wendy’s case, a Chance.
Wendy’s team has built a considerable following with a snarky voice that regularly slams its fast-food competitors for frozen offerings, mocks other social media campaigns and brings new fans into the fold.
One tactic the company uses is to create a competition for “likes” or retweets on Twitter. It famously made good on a promised lifetime supply of chicken nuggets to a Nevada teen after online users gave his tweet more than 3 million retweets.
Now a higher-profile fan, Chance the Rapper, is helping the company reimagine the stunt with a new offer: 2 million “likes” in exchange for bringing back its spicy chicken nugget. The Chicago recording artist shared in a #MondayMotivations tweet that he wanted Wendy’s to again sell the dunkable delectable.
Positive Affirmations for today: I WILL have a good day, I Will succeed today, Wendy’s WILL bring back spicy nuggets at some point please please Lord let it be today.
— Chance The Rapper (@chancetherapper) May 4, 2019
Wendy’s then offered to bring back the item if the tweet got 2 million “likes.”
Y’all keep asking, so here’s your chance.
The people in charge say if you guys can get our tweet (this one right here) to 2 Million likes, they will bring SPICY CHICKEN NUGGETS BACK.
Let’s freakin’ do this! https://t.co/qrtvWXjj9V
— Wendy's (@Wendys) May 4, 2019
At the time of reporting, the tweet had 2.2 million “likes.”
Wendy’s said it would follow through:
THIS IS NOT A DRILL!
Spicy Chicken Nuggets are coming back! Y’all are crazy!
That took like a day and a half! WHAT?!
We don’t know when yet, gotta figure it out, but soon, and ok, LOSING IT RIGHT NOW THIS IS AMAZING!!
— Wendy's (@Wendys) May 6, 2019
Wendy’s has yet to announce a firm date for the return of the nugget, but Chance the Rapper offered a suggestion:
Can we drop them the same day as the album? I need them together.
— Chance The Rapper (@chancetherapper) May 6, 2019
Many have applauded Wendy’s social media team:
If the Wendy’s social media management team isn’t making $100K+ a year then they are getting screwed. Best social media by far from any restaurant
— Josh Born (@JoshBornn) May 7, 2019
Others used memes and jokes to celebrate the promotion and the spicy nugget’s imminent return:
Me walking into Wendy’s for a 10 piece spicy nugget and a large strawberry lemonade pic.twitter.com/ETgOH8xuUl
— Quan McGlocklin. (@quanstarks) May 7, 2019
I can’t believe Wendy’s spicy nuggets are actually coming back.
— Belle Cose (@bellexcose) May 7, 2019
Others were enthralled by the burger chain’s ability to throw shade on competitors:
— kiana.faith (@KianaFaith97) May 6, 2019
Wendy’s continues to show a deft hand at responding to user comments and speaking the language of internet jokes. Other brand managers who have tried to copy Wendy’s snarky tone have faltered and have even suffered backlash for their awkward attempts at humor.
Burger King has sought to develop a social media brand image, with false starts along the way.
Burger King has been working on establishing a faux-human Twitter presence for some time. The day before #FeelYourWay launched, it tweeted, “how’s everyone feeling?” In early April, Burger King invited its followers to “pour one out for google plus,” the failed Google social network. A few weeks later, the account tweeted, simply, “yeet.” (A reference to a Vine dance challenge from five years ago.)
Here are three lessons from Wendy’s latest social media slam dunk:
1. Follow an influencer’s lead. Monday Motivations didn’t work out so well for Chase bank a couple of weeks ago when the banking giant tried to make a Twitter joke and instead offended many consumers. Wendy’s wisely tapped into an influential voice—in this case Chance the Rapper. Major brands with their own cultural appeal might not have to pay an exorbitant fee to get juice from a celebrity.
2. Have a robust social listening program. Wendy’s was able to capitalize on the moment because it monitors mentions and responds quickly when social media users ask questions or call them out. By having a social media listening strategy, you can make sure you don’t miss a golden opportunity to raise the profile of your brand.
3. Keep it positive. A social media post getting a large number of “likes” is an uplifting message about community, revealing how users can come together to accomplish a common goal. This makes it the story the perfect antidote to a news cycle that is chock full of fear, anguish and political rancor. Media outlets are looking for stories to balance the tone of their content, and offering a glimmer of positivity can be a great way to earn media coverage.
What do you think of Wendy’s promotional stunt, PR Daily readers?
This article originally appeared on PR Daily in May of 2019.