Brandable: Wendy’s Targets Gamers
When you pair fast-food eateries with marketing campaigns, especially when it comes to promoting freshness, there’s no telling how far the creative juices will run. In the case of Wendy’s latest campaign, which involved the release of a tabletop role-playing board game, Feast of Legends, is nothing short of impressive. The game, which features a heroine named Queen Wendy—of course—and villains that loosely resemble Ronald McDonald and Burger King, was introduced during Comic Con, held October 8-11 in New York. The objective of the game is to help the characters fight against Beef’s Keep (the land of the frozen beef), the Ice Jester and his “rogues gallery of frozen fiends,” according to the website, and defend Freshtovia (the land of fresh, never frozen, food) and Queen Wendy. Players choose the order of their turn based on items on Wendy’s menu, and if players eat Wendy’s menu items in real time, they can gain access to bonuses for their character. The game resembles a spin on Dungeons and Dragons, and its name is a play on League of Legends, an online battle arena video game.
Is this a new marketing strategy, or even a new one explored by Wendy’s? No, but the creativity put forth into its design is worthy of mention. Wendy’s has traveled down the game route before, having designed its Keeping Fortnite Fresh game, where the fast-food eatery teamed with Epic Games to create a red hood-wearing heroine who destroyed freezers in fast-food restaurants in the online game Fortnite. The heroine would eventually replace these broken freezers with the mechanics needed to make fresh burgers. The game became so popular that developers of Fornite immediately changed out all of the map’s “facilities” to include freezers, allowing for the Wendy’s character to make its swap. Fortnite is a game that’s known for partnerships resulting in changes to its map or board, and this was, arguably, a great move on Wendy’s behalf to get in front of Fortnite’s nearly 250 million players worldwide. This campaign won the Social & Influencer Grand Prix at the 72nd annual Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, held in May, even topping Nike’s “Dream Crazy” campaign, an extension of the brand’s ever-popular “Just do it” campaign, which was narrated by former NFL player Colin Kaepernick—stirring some controversy—and included athletes Serena Williams and LeBron James to show how they have pushed their limits to achieve their dreams.
Fans can download a 97-page PDF instructional guide for Feast of Legends here: www.feastoflegends.com/images/Feast_Of_Legends.pdf.
Danielle Renda is associate editor of PPB.