HomeWendy’s Reactive Fortnite Social Campaign

Wendy’s Reactive Fortnite Social Campaign

Wedny’s Keeping Fortnite Fresh campaign is a great example of how embedding yourself into the community can have a profound impact on results

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Updated: January 21, 2023
Wendys Fortnite Campaign

Wendy’s, one of the fast-food giants in the world, used Twitch, an online streaming platform online, to play Fortnite (for marketing purposes, of course).

Running a marketing campaign IN Fortnite itself acts as a Trojan horse for its key messaging, getting past the filter of what gamers see and hear by blurring advertising and entertainment. 

Instead of interrupting the entertainment gaming industry with traditional advertising Wendy’s decided to bring its marketing into the game itself and relate directly with gamers and Gen Z.

The Campaign– Keeping Fortnite Fresh

The Keeping Fortnite Fresh campaign is a collaboration between advertising agency VMLY&R and Wendy’s with Fortnite. Fortnite has become a cultural phenomenon in online gaming, particularly among 12-to-24-year-olds, the younger consumers exploring what will become the Metaverse

When Fortnite introduced a new game mode called Food Fight, Wendy’s saw an organic way to insert itself into the game’s story and meet the audience in its world. 

The campaign’s objective was to promote Wendy’s core brand messaging of “fresh, never frozen beef” by joining the fight on the side of Team Pizza and eliminating all burger freezers from the game.

VMLY&R agency created a digital avatar similar to Wendy’s mascot that declares war on the frozen beef in the game. The avatar entered the burger joints in a cityscape, an unpopulated city in the game, to target freezers instead of the players in the game. 

Wendy’s doesn’t use frozen beef; that is it is core brand messaging, making the game resemble the brand’s image by using ‘fresh’ instead of frozen. 

Eventually, the game developer removed all the freezers and swapped them with facilities for fresh burgers. 

Wendy’s campaign has three key takeaways from it

 Engaging with gamers doesn’t need a massive budget as everything involved in the setup is free to use, except for hours spent on creating the campaign. 

Look for an organic connection, just like Wendy’s found an organic way to connect with gamers. Look for a way how to connect your brand with games seamlessly.

Have fun with it; when brands do something cool and fun in gaming, gamers will talk about it on Twitch, Twitter, Discord, or any social media they use to have fun with the community.

Wendy’s has a history of using social media and unconventional methods to connect with its audience, such as its iconic Twitter account. 

However, “Keeping Fortnite Fresh” stands out as an innovative and successful campaign that utilized the gaming industry to connect with its target audience in a new way. 

This campaign is different from other campaigns the brand has done in the past as it utilized a game as the medium and leveraged the game’s storyline to drive its brand message. 

It also won a top social prize (two Gold Lions) on Cannes Lion over Nike with the ‘Dream Crazy’ campaign as it represents what could be the next trend.

How Did the Campaign Perform?

The campaign was a huge success, with more than 1.5 million minutes watched on Twitch and a quarter of a million views on the live stream. Wendy’s also saw a 119% increase in mentions on social media, and 752 burger freezers were destroyed in the game. 

By the next update, Epic, the developer of Fortnite, removed burger freezers from the game.

Fortnite Food Fight

What Could Wendy’s Learn from Other Brand Campaigns in the Metaverse?

Unlike traditional advertisement, Wendy’s streaming on Twitch playing Fortnite is an effective marketing campaign without allocating a massive budget and interrupting the gaming fun. 

The campaign utilizes a new and emerging Fortnite platform, leverages existing community in Metaverse to reach the target audience, and find an organic way to enter without interrupting entertainment, making it remarkably successful.

Wendy’s could also learn from other brand campaigns in the Metaverse, such as Gucci, who created their own Gucci Gardens in the Metaverse to engage with users.

Or Hyundai Motors, who wants to build long-lasting relationships with their customers through Hyundai Mobility Adventure in Roblox.

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