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Wendy’s engages fans through song to promote Pretzel Bun’s return

To mark the return of its Pretzel Bacon Cheeseburger and Pretzel Pub Chicken, the hamburger chain brought a karaoke booth to Times Square, where consumers could create a music video singing a pretzel love song from Wendy’s television commercial, interact with best-selling R&B group Boyz II Men, and share their music video on Facebook and Twitter. The campaign reflected how Wendy’s mobile and social media strategy is driven by its determination to be close to consumers who tend to make fast-food dining decisions close to when they actually eat.

Mobile content
“Wendy’s clearly understands that their demographic is influenced by mobile content,” said Alex Campbell, co-founder and chief innovation officer of Chicago-based Vibes. “They understand that their customers want to engage and be social, and that mobile is their preferred method for being social.”

For Wendy’s, mobile plays a key role in showcasing new products to consumers. Last month, Wendy’s used online and mobile Web to reach live events fans with a special offer to save on their ticket purchases with StubHub. Additionally, mobile and social go hand-in-hand as part of a bigger marketing mix. For example, the explosion of social media and mobile has given Wendy’s a better chance at targeting television and digital video media buys as consumers increasingly swap out TV sets for digital devices to watch TV on.

In March, Wendy’s rolled out mobile payments to all of its United States locations, giving the brand a first-mover advantage in the quick-service restaurant space as well as early insight into how Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and other types of technology can improve the in-restaurant experience.

“Wendy’s understands that their key demographic may not be watching traditional media,” Mr. Campbell said. “I give them credit for understanding where their market is and creating compelling content that uses mobile.”

Final Take

Michael Barris is staff reporter for Mobile Commerce Daily, New York.