New, sophisticated tactics have taken the marketing war between Burger King and Wendy’s to a higher level.
A fresh addition to BK’s menu is spicy chicken nuggets, an item Wendy’s discontinued earlier this year. The Whopper purveyor is trying to lure fans of hot chicken chunks with obvious advertising such as not-so-subtly placed billboards and some new social media imagery. But the savviest move by BK’s strategists has to be the deployment of a few promoted tweets, in which regular users complain to Wendy’s about its phaseout of the peppery nugs.
And just like that, there is a new frontrunner in the Brand Twitter Warz. Promoted tweets are typically used by companies to advertise their own products, not point out shortcomings of the competition. It’s quite an innovation by Burger King, and it seems a safe bet others will use this idea in the future.
If Wendy’s had slipped into a lull of complacency after receiving endless free publicity while one nugget fiend set about breaking Twitter’s all-time retweet record, this will surely shock the square-burger chain back into reality. A thirsty brand cannot rest on its laurels for even a moment lest it is willing to be overtaken by an even thirstier competitor. The total number of brands vying for any crumb of attention these days is immeasurable, as is their thirst.
Burger King’s shadow campaign has not gone unnoticed by the tweeting public at large.
How Wendy’s comes back from this bodyblow remains to be seen. Eater has reached out to Burger King for insight into what inspired the chain to weaponize promoted tweets.
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