Earlier this year, it was announced that Image Centre Group* had won the Wendy’s account from King Street. And four weeks later the new account holder has launched a campaign via its in-house creative agency &Some to introduce the Pretzel Bacon Cheeseburger to the Kiwi market.
“We’re really impressed with how quickly the team at &Some have managed to turn this around,” says Wendy’s chief executive Danielle Lendich. “We finalised the account details on 20 January, and by the 24th [of February] they had already rolled out a TVC. And they also activated 'Mate Rates' campaign along the way.”
“This is very different to anything we’ve done before, but I’m excited about it. It’s busy and creative, and I’m really curious to see how the social media side of the campaign goes,” says Lendich.
Despite this change in direction, Lendich says the old mascot 'Kiwi Dave' could make a comeback.
"Kiwi Dave has been the face of Wendy's for so long. And although we are taking a different approach now, there's always a chance that he could make an appearance later in the year. Wendy's still have a great relationship with him," she says.
During the course of the campaign, Pretzel Burger eaters are invited to enter the ‘Pretzy Selfie’ social media competition (hosted at Wendyspretzy.co.nz) that gives Kiwis the chance to win a trip to the United States.
In order to make the selfies a little more creative, Wendy's is also giving customers a range of cardboard gear – including sunglasses, a hat and shoes – which can be used to kit out the burger for the snapshot.
Two months from now, Wendy's will tally the votes attributed to all the selfies on display and then select the winner of the competition.
“We looked at what they did in the States with the 'Pretzel love song' campaign, and we challenged ourselves to do something similarly fun and creative,” says Lendich.
During the Wendy’s ‘Love Songs’ campaign in 2013, Twitter commentary dedicated to the Pretzel Burger was given a melodic revamp as a pair of singers belted out a series of Tweets made by fans.
The resultant videos accumulated over 670,000 views, and the response from the difficult-to-please YouTube community was predominantly positive.
Since going live on Monday, the Wendyspretzy.co.nz website has only had 29 entries (at the time of writing), but the release of the burger has received decent traction in mainstream media, with several publications releasing articles about the new burger.
Interestingly, the Herald, Scoop and 3News all published short pieces claiming that Time Magazine had dubbed Wendy’s latest addition to the menu the burger of the year in the United States for 2013. However, this claim is inaccurate, because the article published in Time only referred to a post on the website BurgerBusiness.com, which gave a rundown of the best and worst hamburgers from the previous year. The furthest that Time writer Brad Tuttle went was to quote an excerpt from the Burger Business article, calling the pretzel “the most talked-about bun of the year.”
The decision by the Herald to publish a series of stories about the release of the burger has also been met with some Facebook lashback for what some commenters perceive as thinly veiled advertising.
Lendich has however told StopPress that Wendy’s does not have an advertising agreement with the Herald, and that the fast food chain simply sent a press release to several relevant publications. The prerogative to run the article remains with the publication, she said.
*StopPress forms part of the Image Centre publishing group.
Creative Director: Andrew Nalder
Senior Account Manager: Sarah Ritchie
Art Director: Dean Pomfrett
Graphic Designer: Glen Drake
Copywriter: Leah Royden
Strategist: Marcus Hawkins-Adams
Production Manager: Jay Sayer
Video production and animation: OnDigital
Print Production: ImagePrint and Boston Digital
Digital Production: Image Centre Group