Wendy’s ‘Roast Day’ moves from Twitter to TikTok—its CMO explains why

Wendy is a little bit of a smart-ass online. Can you talk a little bit about the evolution of Wendy as an online figure, and what she’s come to be?

That’s a great question. It’s a big part of what we’ve talked about, particularly in this engagement. Because the reality is that it’s a very different world to see a smart ass in print, versus that coming to life in the form of a video.

It’s always been a part of our brand voice. We are the challenger. It’s the position that Wendy’s has had since 1969, when Dave [Thomas] created this brand. And it’s all about doing things the right way, making sure that folks know the difference. We use fresh beef on every hamburger, because it tastes better, we use real dairy in our Frosties, we have the best french fries out there in the market, because we want to do right by our consumers.

And so I think you see a bit of a smart-ass. But it’s really more about that challenger, to say, “Hey are you paying attention? I’m going to give you a little edge to make sure you are.” And so that’s been a piece of it.

As we think about these different platforms and how we engage, there’s certainly room, and the right time, for edge. And there’s also time to come in with more compassion. So it’s what consumers expect … People are actually pushing us to do more, and push it harder, versus pulling it back, which has been interesting.

So it’s something that we’re thinking about. But, you know, I think we’re one of the few if not the only brand that can be this sassy with our fans, because we have that kind of relationship with them. We only roast the ones we love. And I think that love, that mutual shared respect, is what allows us to be able to go do this and it’s why we’re the only brand in the world that can go pull it off and have as much fun and lean in as hard as we do.