[Oct. 13 Update: Fuddruckers follows Wendy's lead with a campaign emphasizing origin of its beef. See it here.]
[Oct. 12 Update: The chain has extended the "Real" campaign to include a "30 Seconds of Wendy's" video contest on YouTube. Check details here.]
Wendy’s first advertising from The Kaplan Thaler Group uses the slogan “You know when it’s real” to spotlight its never-frozen burgers and new freshly cooked bacon. The campaign breaks Friday.
One of the new TV commercials includes a gently sung background song (reminiscent, for better or worse, of “Don’t Worry, Be Happy”) that uses the “hot ‘n juicy” phrase that once was a key marketing point for the chain’s burgers. Other new spots focus on the new Bacon Deluxe burger (made with “fresh North American beef”) and its cooked-in-house applewood-smoked bacon. The “other guys” use precooked bacon, one commercial stresses. TV tags direct viewers to a flanker Web site, www.wendysrealtime.com, that won’t be live until Oct. 9. It will have a “Real Time Realness Survey” that will analyze what your Twitter messages say about you, sources say. [That was the beta site apparently. The official site isn't that engaging: It has a curious cloud of floating "real-time" Twitter tweets.]
Wendy’s selected Kaplan Thaler as agency of record in July, succeeding Kirshenbaum Bond Senecal + Partners. Wendy’s spends about $275 million annually on measured-media advertising but has been expanding its use of nontraditional and social media as well.
Will these quietly hummable commercials pass the “watercooler test”? Will anyone watch these and say to friends the next day, “Did you see the new Wendy’s ads? I like ‘em.” Or are these spots so low-key that few will notice them, let alone realize they’re the new Wendy’s ads?