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Wendy has been serving mother-in-law on social media since 2017.
It all started on Twitter. After McDonald’s official Twitter account accidentally shared a tweet with a typo, a quote from Wendy’s tweeted the post saying, “When tweets break like an ice cream machine.”
The success of this tweet sparked a new social media strategy for the fast food chain – roasting other accounts.
Wendy’s had its first National Roast Day in 2018. Twitter users could leave a tweet to be roasted and the official Wendy’s account would counter with a brutal response. No Twitter account was safe, and the made-up social media holiday became an annual affair that was a huge success.
In 2022, National Roast Day Arises 130 million impressions Within hours and had made Wendy’s an instant trending topic on Twitter.
This year, Wendy’s moved National Roast Day from Twitter to TikTok, turning it into a three-day event from April 12-14 (previously, it was limited to 24 hours). To participate, TikTok users posted videos asking Wendy’s to roast them. The official Wendy’s account responded with a stitched video from the animated “Wendy” giving the roast.
If the comments section was any indication, this year’s roast didn’t bring the heat.
Underneath the roast video, comparisons to the company’s previous roasts were frequently mentioned on Twitter. Users made comments like:
- “How is your roast cooler than your fries”
- “Twitter Man Is On Vacation”
- “Twitter Wendy needs to roast TikTok Wendy”
- “This person is not like Wendy’s Twitter”
Here are some reasons why the latest roast felt lukewarm compared to years past.
tiktok strict community guidelines
Compared to Twitter, TikTok has more strict community guidelines regarding bullying or harassment. Content deemed too harsh can be quickly taken down from the video platform, adding to the limits on what Wendy can say during the roast.
Sharing roasts via text on Twitter leaves a little more room for interpretation. Users can read tweets sarcastically or imagine a specific voice delivering the roast. With an animated character giving the roast, there’s less room for interpretation and the jokes are more difficult to land.
It’s worth noting that there were some gems shared on National Roast Day, like this video directed by AdAge that marketers can appreciate.
While video presents unique challenges for delivering the type of humor Wendy’s is known for, taking National Roast Day to TikTok was probably a valuable experiment that allowed Wendy’s social team to expand its short-form videos. Strategy will help.
Even though roasts may not have been hot, the statistics surrounding National Roast Day 2023 were still impressive. During the three-day roast, Wendy’s shared 111 videos, which garnered over 109 million views and counting.
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