So, the last famous ad man in New York’s agency, Kirschenbaum Bond, has picked up the Wendy’s account from Saatchi & Saatchi with the promise that Wendy’s isn’t just better than fast food, it’s waaaay better than fast food.
Apparently, this promise will be communicated through the use of the red-haired girl in the Wendy’s logo who will be involved at the beginning and the end of each spot. Agency Spy is as confused as I am about how this is actually differentiating since both Burger King and McDonald’s use red-haired characters to brand themselves.
If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em I guess, though that flies in the face of the claim that Wendy’s is waaay better than fast food. In fact, it sort of says that Wendy’s is like any other fast food, right down to the advertising.
That isn’t to say that the Saatchis work was so wonderful that Wendy’s is foolish to walk away…the Saatchis work clearly didn’t deliver the sales results that Wendy’s was looking for and, sad though it may be for an ad campaign that did drive awareness to be judged purely on short-term sales that is how fast food companies work and Saatchis must have know it. So they are out.
But this new “positioning” doesn’t really position Wendy’s at all.
They aren’t waaay better than fast food because, unlike QSR joints like Subway or Quizno’s they aren’t serving mainly sandwiches and salads that are, if nothing else, perceived as healthier. Wendy’s is a burger joint. It’s the home of the Baconator. Wendy’s is fast food.
Wendy’s may have the best fast food because of better ingredients, never frozen meat and side order options like a baked potato, but they still are fast food and need to live with what they are. The old Dave Thomas advertising plainly said that Wendy’s was better fast food.
They aren’t fooling anyone by pretending that they better THAN fast food. They are fast food.
That said, at least they are launching a campaign and not just going with food beauty-shot ads.