Wendy's and Wingstop become embroiled in Twitter 'rap battle'
- Wingstop inadvertently started a Twitter "rap battle" with burger chain Wendy's on Oct. 2, reported Adweek. The spat started with a Wingstop tweet playing off lyrics from Migos' hit single "Bad and Boujee." A follower replied by specifically calling out Wendy's, whose official brand page responded and set off a series of back-and-forth tweets.
- Actual hip-hop star Rick Ross chimed in by giving Wendy's a hard time on his Snapchat channel and plugging Wingstop on Twitter. Ross, however, might be biased by virtue of owning around 25 Wingstop franchises and also calling out its food in his music.
- While the winner of the whole affair might be a matter of taste, it gave Wingstop 9 million impressions and 72,000 retweets, Adweek said.
Wendy's has become a de-facto leader among fast-food brands as to how they handle their official Twitter accounts, as evidenced by a Wingstop fan eagerly pulling the burger chain into a rap battle. For Wingstop, it was clearly an opportunity to boost its mindshare and earn a lot of social media impressions.
How brands interact with each other on Twitter is, at least from a marketer's perspective, fascinating to watch given that they're ostensibly competition but often shy away from being outwardly aggressive with one another. Wendy's response to Wingstop's initial riff on "Bad and Boujee" — directly quoting Kendrick Lamar, saying "Sit down, be humble" — reflects its brazenness on the platform, but that same brazenness has earned it a lot of notoriety and respect from consumers.
This isn't the first time Wendy's has engaged either another company or its followers and critics in a direct fashion. In May, one of its fans broke a record for the most retweets, surpassing Ellen DeGeneres' selfie from the 2014 Oscars ceremony with more than 3.5 million. The user had asked the brand how many retweets it needed in order to win a free year's worth of chicken nuggets. Wendy's responded saying it would take 18 million, and later relented when the record was broken. Not all of its interactions are as gregarious: Wendy's frequently makes fun of McDonald's and Burger King, in particular. When a Twitter user earlier this year suggested the brand's "fresh never frozen" mantra was not true, Wendy's got into a protracted argument.
Social media interaction of this kind can be an incredibly tricky tightrope to walk, as coming off as too brash might be off-putting to consumers. In the case of the "rap battle," Wendy's already has a reputation for irreverence. Having Rick Ross back Wingstop added an entirely new level of meta for anyone following the tweets in real-time.