May 16, 2017

Fast Food Giants Serve Up Next-Generation Content Lessons

At this point, it should come as no surprise to anyone involved in marketing just how important it is to have a digital presence today. 86 percent of Americans are active Internet users. As younger generations mature, this figure should only trend upward. Furthermore, nearly half of Internet users are going online to shop.  

But it isn’t enough to simply transfer traditional marketing tactics to a new platform. Your messaging, your language and your marketing initiatives must be recalibrated to take advantage of fresh opportunities afforded by technological advances that are rapidly changing the landscape of the digital economy.


Among the businesses making strides to leverage emerging connected technology, few are doing it as successfully as the titans of the fast food industry.

Let’s take a closer look at how America’s favorite fast food burger joints are pioneering digital marketing today.

Wendy’s retweets into the record books

How would you like a 1,154 percent return on your next marketing initiative? How about a free segment on the Ellen Degeneres show? Wendy’s was recently able to accomplish this, with a little help from a 16-year old Nevada native. After engaging the boy on Twitter about how many retweets he would need to win a year of free nuggets, the story went viral. When he accumulated more retweets than previous record-holder Ellen Degeneres, she even took time during her show to get in on the story. So while Wendy’s will be shelling out roughly $700 of free chicken nuggets in 2018, the media attention garnered from the company’s high level of social engagement would have otherwise cost the company roughly $838,000 to replicate.

Burger King hacks virtual assistants

A recent Burger King commercial asks viewers a simple question: “What is the Whopper burger?” If you don’t have a virtual assistant in your home, you might have found the ad to be somewhat uninventive. But if you do, there’s a good chance that your device heard the question and began listing off the ingredients. While the ad was quickly panned and tech companies worked to close the loophole that allowed the devices to engage, the ingenuity of this marketing campaign cannot go unnoticed. It represents an entirely new approach and is reflective of the possibilities emerging with the proliferation of virtual assistants today.

McDonald’s googles ‘un-branded content’

Just how influential are Google search results? Influential enough for McDonald’s to roll out an ambitious new marketing campaign that never once makes reference to itself. The commercials are being hailed as the first un-branded content. So how are viewers expected to link the ads to McDonald’s?

Set against a red backdrop in a yellow dress, actress Mindy Kaling asks viewers to google “that place where Coke tastes so good.” The color scheme offers an unconscious connection to the brand’s identity, but it’s the search results that tie the commercial together. The search results bring  you to McDonald’s, while at the same time compelling viewers to engage.

Deborah Wahl, CMO of McDonald’s, explains the company’s thought process: “The ads, which started running last week, are meant to play on how teens and twentysomethings use their phones while watching TV, while also acknowledging how they’re discovering information they trust…They are very influenced by word of mouth and what their peers say.”

Are you ready to revolutionize your marketing initiatives?

Every business today must take swift measures to adapt to the changing marketing landscape created by an influx of emerging technologies. If you’re ready to take your content to the next level, check out Content Boost today. 

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