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Wendy’s introduced a handful, or should I say mouthful, of new limited-time barbecue menu options, and they have done a great job at promoting them in a unique ways.  The campaign is promoting the new pulled pork barbecue options available at Wendy’s.  For a limited time they are offering a pulled pork sandwich, a hamburger with pulled pork and pulled pork fries, all available, in true barbecue fashion, with three different barbecue sauces – smoky, sweet and spicy. The number of options are literally nine. The local Savannah Wendy’s franchise is one of our clients, so be sure to stop in, try it and let us know what you think!
 
The campaign started at the beginning of October with PSA-style videos and will run through the month.  The PSAs feature three familiar faces — Alfonso Ribeiro (Carlton from Fresh Prince of Bel-Air), Ralph Macchio (The Karate Kid) and Steve Austin (famed wrestler Stone Cold Steve Austin) — talking about the lack of barbecue in certain parts of the U.S. They go on to encourage spreading awareness of said lack of barbecue by using the hashtag #BBQ4merica.

 
From the get-go, this campaign has done great things on social media. At the end of each PSA, there is a voice-over encouraging Wendy’s fans passionate about the cause to get involved by “sponsoring” their friends by tagging them using the hashtag #BBQ4merica. Within 10 days, the video has received almost 1.5 million views. 
 
Then, on Wednesday, October 8, the three celebrities took over the Wendy’s Twitter account for a Wendy’s #BBQ4merica tweet-a-thon, during which, Alfonso, Ralph and Steve answered users’ questions, gave barbecue tips and asked users to participate in certain barbecue-related challenges. Wendy’s also amplified the social chatter by buying a Promoted Trend – to the tune of $200,000 – and ran Promoted Tweets all around the hashtag #BBQ4merica.
 
The next push in the campaign is an online petition. Wendy’s official whitehouse.gov online petition will ask for a Presidential Proclamation to make barbecue the National Dish of America. 100,000 signatures are needed by October 19 to make the proclamation possible. You can sign the petition here
 
With ironic humor, this cross-platform campaign has gained a lot of publicity and has huge potential for success. Obviously, Wendy’s won’t really know the success of the campaign until the numbers come in, but in our books, it’s a win.
 
Further reading: 
http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/pulled-pork-for-the-people-join-wendys-bbq4merica-campaign-to-help-bring-good-barbecue-to-all-277460301.html
 
http://www.adweek.com/news/technology/why-alfonso-ribeiro-tweeting-wendy-s-160649