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Is it “Waaaay Better Than Fast Food?” Your Thoughts Please.


We just got forwarded the release for Kirschbaum’s new campaign for Wendy’s. Apparently, Wendy’s is “waaaay” not just a little way, but “waaaay” better than fast food. That’s the new positioning. So, confused. Did we just re-enter the era of Clueless?
At Wendy’s National Convention in Orlando this week, the campaign was unveiled along with “mouth-watering photography” of Wendy’s premium quality food. So…. a burger? You mean, fast food?

They are kicking the current campaign, “That’s Rightâ„¢” – with consumers donning red wigs as a symbol of enlightenment – to the curb because while it drove brand awareness (meaning within advertising circles), it has failed to drive dollars.

Chief Executive Officer and President Kerrii Anderson said, “To reinvigorate sales growth, we are executing our strategic plan, focusing on strengthening operations, launching new products and taking decisive action.”

“This evolution of our advertising approach is based on extensive consumer research over the last eight months, working in close collaboration with our agency partners and our franchise advertising committee,” Anderson said. “This effort has been driven by a clear understanding of our brand strategy and hallmarks of quality, freshness and honesty.”

Wow. Anderson sounds like she really means it. But, um… if Wendy’s food isn’t fast food, then what is it? It would make more sense if the new tagline was “Wendy’s – Fresh Food,” but even that is kinda bad. Regardless of our confusion (hell, maybe it’ll all shake out in the wash), the new campaign is coming out of Kirshenbaum bond + partners, and will apparently, leverage the “red-hair iconography, but does so in a way that is more genuine and true to the Wendy’s brand.”

Here’s how: Each television spot opens and closes with an animated version of the company’s familiar logo – the image of a red-headed, little girl. “Unlike most logos, Wendy does not remain static in the new advertising. She opens each ad in a simple, surprising way that highlights the menu item being promoted in the commercial,” said Bob Holtcamp, Wendy’s vice president of brand marketing.

So, kind of like the Burger King, King or that other red haired icon, McDonald.

“For example, she holds up a fishing rod to introduce our new hand-cut, North Pacific cod, fish sandwiches. In other ads, she’ll take a small bite out of a hamburger; clutch a small piggy bank to promote our Super Value Menu®; and do other things that open our ads with a wink and a smile,” said Bob.

Each ad ends with a voice saying, “It’s waaaay better than fast food. It’s Wendy’s.”

Do you think this has more to do with the Wendy family HATING the recent spots? Or, you know what… we’re going to open this one up to the floor. What do you guys think of the new tagline?

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