Wendy’s asks us all to tell them how much we love their pretzel buns.

That headline there sums up my problem with Wendy’s new attempt at goofy viral fun.

They’re taking “your” tweets and using them as a ridiculous script for improv-style actors to play a scene. Theoretically it sounds light-hearted and makes people kind of think about pretzel buns, so it’s moderately successful at doing that.

And I don’t just want to complain all the time.

For example, I think it’s kind of late in the day to be complaining that “the crowd sourcing thing has been done.” I’m tempted to complain exactly that, but you know what? Forget it. We’ve moved past “It’s been done,” to “Here’s a way every brand is going to eventually feel like it has to try to engage its customers at some point; can the creatives at least do something new and/or interesting with it?”

And this is, um, newish.


Here come the complaints. First, I think it fails at being as silly as it initially promises to be; I think having characters in a stock situation using random or irrelevant language expressed with context-appropriate emotion sounds like it might be Silly In The Way The Internet Enjoys.

This is just sort of dull. If you didn’t think your tweet was part of this, I can’t imagine sticking around the whole minute thirty-eight seconds, which feels like a feature film at this point.

But more importantly: it’s just so me-me-me-centric to ask people to tweet how much they love the product in order for you to compose a pseudo-silly script to play out your self-centered little game on the internet. It’s so in love with itself, this project, that I can’t imagine anyone will notice (who’s not involved) or retain it or share it (the currency of the day) or remember it ten minutes from now.

Unless the second installment really shakes things up.

Just…please stop asking me to love you. You seem desperate, or clueless.

And I don’t love either of those qualities in a person. Did I say person? I mean brand. Or person. Same thing.

  • illogicaljake

    This is perfectly timed after I just watched the PopChips episode of The Pitch. Of course a terrible crowdsourced “viral” pseudo-video won.

    The great thing about watching these a year late: I can Google to find out how the campaign actually did. They really should do a “revisit” special to show that all of the terrible campaigns chosen by brands go, well, terribly.

    • http://sellingeating.com/ Charlie Hopper

      Yeah, I always feel like agencies and clients go into “crowd-sourcing” with such high hopes and a sense of adventure, and they usually just end up with something amateur. To actually entertain effectively is difficult, and that’s why it’s left to professionals. Are any current ads funnier than the huge crop of Will Ferrell Durango spots? Is any comedian more of a “professional” right now than Will Ferrell?