How do you market a hamburger? Fast food is pretty much fast food, right? While a french fry at Burger King is in no way the same as a french fry at McDonald’s, making their commercials stand apart from each other, and getting audiences excited to go to their particular fast-food chain, isn’t easy. Wendy’s was founded in 1969. They’ve pretty much exhausted the ways they can tell you to eat at Wendy’s–or at least, you would think so. But their marketing department is rising up to face this challenge head-on by breaking into the technology field. Now, they have a new strategy: the Wendy’s phone.
One could ask, “Why is there a Wendy’s phone?”, but that’s not the kind of attitude this marketing campaign is about. Embrace the strangeness of our times. It’s happening. Instead, let’s ask: What is the Wendy’s phone? It’s pretty much a regular smartphone. It’s got the signature sleek Wendy’s red for its color scheme. The phone is set up to do things like help its owner navigate to their local Wendy’s, tell them that the weather is a great day to go get a burger at their favorite fast-food chain (Wendy’s, obviously), and send users to their smartphone app so they can order some Wendy’s. If this sounds like something you need in your life, well, you’re not alone. The phone is gaining popularity with its customers. However, only a select few can get this prized piece of technology.
The Wendy’s phone is currently only available via a contest and only for Canadian citizens. If you happen to be a lucky Canadian and a fan of this particular fast-food chain, or weird memorabilia, you are in luck. To enter to win the phone, the fast-food chain wants you to log on to Twitter, show off your favorite order from inside the app (thereby proving you have the app downloaded on your current phone), and use the #WendysPhone hashtag when you do so. Check out the tweet from the restaurant below, where they give you these directions on how to enter and also show a video of the phone you can win.
Sadly, this phone looks nothing like a hamburger phone. However, as pointed out in Juno, they can actually be quite awkward to talk on, so perhaps going for practicality with the Wendy’s phone was more in line with the restaurant’s best interests.
The new Wendy’s phone feels like a follow-up to the KFC console from their chicken-based competitor. The gaming console was thought to be a joke at first, but turned out to be a very real device with a built-in “chicken chamber“. We live in strange times.
Like most businesses or human beings, the pandemic hasn’t been kind of Wendy’s. Last year, they had to close for a while when food shortages saw them running out of beef. It would make sense if during that time, someone in their marketing department came up with the idea for the Wendy’s phone. Their online orders have likely spiked and they understand the importance of driving users to their mobile app now more than ever. As users download the app to enter the contest, the company is likely finding that their strange idea is working out quite well for them. Perhaps this will eventually lead to them running the Wendy’s phone contest in other countries as well. For now, the Canadian winners will have to let the rest of the world know how much fun their new piece of fast-food tech actually is.