Wendy’s reduces tough guys to tears

Tears trickle down facial tattoos, nose rings and beards in Wendy’s latest campaign developed by Augusto. Launched this week, the TV and online adverts zoom in, slowly, on styled tough guys as they try Wendy’s jalapeño-inspired ‘Ghost Pepper’ burger range.

“Spicy food can be polarizing but irresistible to some people,” says Wendy’s marketing manager Joanne Hall. “We wanted to have fun with that and the physical reactions elicited from eating hot chilies, drawing inspiration from videos posted online of people eating spicy food.”

The 75-second advert cuts between five different characters eating the burgers against a moody, black backdrop – filmed in an Auckland-based studio.

The ‘limited time only’ burgers vary, from mild to three-chilies ‘mad’, in heat intensity and have earned the tagline: ‘So delicious, it’s worth the tears’.

“Those who crave heat are always up for the challenge, but despite being delicious they can turn even the toughest and most staunch of us into a sniffling, blubbering mess,” says Hall.

With soothing guitar song ‘Ghost’ by Canadian artist Marc Robillard crooning in the background, the adverts juxtaposes the rebellious image of gang members and bikies with creative charm.

The spicy product concept, with a beef burger, chicken burger and topped fries, came from Wendy’s head office in America but Wendy’s NZ, being a local owned and operated business, chose to promote it with local talent.

“The idea was also to stand out from overseas concepted, locally adapted fast food creative in order to reach the target market – young males who are easily bored and always on the lookout for the next “new” thing,” says Hall. “Unlike other QSRs, we are fortunate to have the freedom to develop our creative concepts based on local insights.”

Hall says to expect more unique and disruptive content from Wendy’s in the future as its partnership with Augusto develops.

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