Okay, Wendy’s, that’s enough. The tweet roasts were pretty fun for a while, and the Super Bowl ad was pretty bold, but to use a cliche that is used to describe cliches: You’ve jumped the shark. This mixtape, a real thing that exists on Spotify, Apple Music, and, supposedly, Google Play (though a search has come up empty), is too much. The world doesn’t need insults from a burger chain coming through earbuds and Bluetooth speakers.
Admittedly, the production value of We Beefin?, which includes the songs “Twitter Fingers,” “Holding It Down,” “Rest in Grease,” “Clownin,” and “4 for 4$,” is good. Whoever wrote the lyrics and is doing the actual rapping is talented: Put this tape on in the background and don’t pay attention to the words, and it could be mistaken for a recording from a trap artist based out of Atlanta. But that’s not what it is. It’s an elaborate advertisement.
The mixtape drops now. Not pulling punches. We Beefin’. pic.twitter.com/H1Rm1ODYC4— Wendy's (@Wendys) March 23, 2018
Some Twitter users are noting that the mixtape goes hard AF (may as well lean into the millennial-focused language since Wendy’s is so thirsty for the generation). Shots are taken at burger competitors such as McDonald’s, Burger King, even Shake Shack. We Beefin? is essentially the musical version of Wendy’s social media personality: mean as hell and proud of it.
But logging on and wading through the cesspool that is the modern internet every day wears on the psyche. There’s enough vitriol and pettiness and negative thought coming from and going in all directions without a fast-food chain making digital headlines every time it lobs some disparaging remarks. The campaign has inspired other #brands to look to the dark side — some aggressive, some nihilistic. This isn’t good for anyone, and Wendy’s cantankerous strategy isn’t even resulting in a sales boost. So, what’s the point?
The Takeout’s Kevin Pang recently published some thoughts in opposition to Wendy’s online existence. “Wendy’s has clearly found success in [the realm of social media], and it seems the company prerogative has been to double down on the strategy,” Pang writes. “But in that process, it’s become what I hate most about social media — Wendy’s has become an internet troll.”
It’s true, and releasing a mixtape, of all things, is as good a place as any to go in a new direction. It’s hard to think of any more complicated, absurd stunt the chain could pull to top this, so it’s time to consider a different way: Frosties are good. Spicy chicken sandwiches are good. Square burgers are fine. Please stop trying to act so tough, Wendy’s.
• @Wendy’s [Twitter]
• Wendy’s Same-Restaurant Sales Miss Estimates [Reuters]
• Wendy’s Went From Wholesome Fast-Food Darling to Dickish Internet Troll [Takeout]
• Wendy’s Expertly Shades McDonald’s Over Frozen Beef [E]
• All Pop Culture Coverage [E]