Wendy’s responds to Chance the Rapper with social media gold

The fast-food chain promised to honor the artist’s request to bring back its spicy chicken nugget if his tweet could get to 2 million ‘likes.’ Online fans came through; so has the company.

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.

Wendy’s then offered to bring back the item if the tweet got 2 million “likes.”

At the time of reporting, the tweet had 2.2 million “likes.”

Wendy’s said it would follow through:

Wendy’s has yet to announce a firm date for the return of the nugget, but Chance the Rapper offered a suggestion:

Many have applauded Wendy’s social media team:

Others used memes and jokes to celebrate the promotion and the spicy nugget’s imminent return:

Others were enthralled by the burger chain’s ability to throw shade on competitors:

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.

As was previously offered on PR Daily:

Burger King has sought to develop a social media brand image, with false starts along the way.

Vox reported:

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.


2 Responses to “Wendy’s responds to Chance the Rapper with social media gold”

    Madison Longyear says:

    Ted- I can say that I was one of those “likes”! I thought it was cool for Wendy’s to include its customers in their decisions. I do find it interesting that other corporations have not been able to successfully copy Wendy’s Twitter style. I would say that Wendy’s does follow the three lessons you provided.

    Damadj Johnson says:

    My Name is Damadj Johnson and I am a communication major attending Indiana State University. I think this blog was really cool. I like how Wendy’s reach out to their customers to try to satisfy their needs. The three lessons “Follow an Influences lead” , “Have a robust social listening program”, and “Keep it positive” I would say Wendy’s did that more than Burger King.

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