Wendy's Goes Viral. Just Kidding.


Wendy's joins the amateur video club with "Crazy Lettuce." By now you know the score: two guys are involved. One can never hold the camera straight. At the very last second some zany shit happens.

In this case, a bushy head of lettuce consumes a wee little Wendy's burger. Link to meatatariansunite, a nightmare of poor wallpaper that does nothing but hurt eyes and demand emails.

If this is the one trick to succeeding in so-called "viral marketing," the medium ought to die fast and painfully. Unfortunately for Wendy's, the eyes-deceive-thee! gimmick that served Levi's, Ray Ban and Nike so well is all used up. People finally get the joke: these amazing feats in online video? They never happened. Know what else? They're ADS.

"Crazy Lettuce" has drawn less than 1100 views on YouTube, a mediocre rating (2 stars) and mixed response (of which there are 12).

But lest we hasten to dub this a flop, agency Kirshenbaum Bond & Partners pointed out it spent a mere $25K of its client's cash on this piece, as opposed to the $300K it might have to produce a TV ad. With the money it saved, it can disseminate 11 more of these turdy jewels, which makes online video a great medium for experimenting with new ad ideas, argues Silicon Alley Insider.

Except Wendy's lacks the cajones of an adventurous brand. Since its decision to prematurely dump its red wig campaign -- and Saatchi & Saatchi with it -- Kirshenbaum's strained its creative juices to be as countercreative as possible. Wanna see $900K fly by? Witness the fruits of the "It's Waaaay Better than Fast Food" campaign: food porn and good-good.

Atrociously stale stuff, and I don't even wanna know what the burgers taste like.

by Angela Natividad    Sep-11-08   Click to Comment   
Topic: Bad, Brands, Campaigns, Online, Video   

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Yeah I would have to say that most viral marketing campaigns fall flat.

Viral video has made a pretty good impact on some brands, eg., Diet Coke/Mentos, Kobe Bryant/Aston Martin, Marc Ecco/Air Force.

It also seems to be a good media platform for individuals to gain notoriety or fame(who the f***k is chocolate rain?).

Ben Joven
PPC Specialist
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Posted by: Seo & PPC Specialist on September 11, 2008 11:00 PM

Well we all know, without the shaky, out of focus camera movements it just doesn't look real or authentic!

They should pay you 25k,as you most likely gave it more exposure than it originally had. :-)

Posted by: Herbert on September 12, 2008 8:03 AM

i've been reading about this one and can't help but be confused about their hyping of it as a "viral video." seems to me to be jumping the gun a bit, no? really, is it a viral video if it doesn't...um...go viral?

Posted by: Katrina on September 12, 2008 1:44 PM

Katrina: You're right, viral is a result. I think overeager companies like to call these wackjob oeuvres "viral" because that's probably how the agency sold them the idea.

We're making a viral! We're making an instant success!

Posted by: Angela on September 12, 2008 1:51 PM

Got to agree that viral isn't something that you decide it's what the audience decides. Remember that "whassup" went viral and that was just your regular old TVC.

The film has been on Adland (freeforall) since the 24th of August and and has 6367 views so far. Not a great number if you compare to the 4 minute Microsoft ad (http://commercial-archive.com/node/145505) that has 3263 views in two days , but it's better than youtubes number of views. Nobody has bothered to vote or comment though.

Quicktime here; http://commercial-archive.com/node/145190

Posted by: Dabitch on September 15, 2008 5:03 AM

yeah well if you're selling the campaign it's good to honestly set your client's expectations.

Should we call it potential-viral-video-campaign or maybe could'a would'a should'a viral video campaign or how about this one pretty good bet that it's going to be a viral video campaign.

Posted by: angle45media on September 16, 2008 5:34 PM