- Wendy's is giving Twitter followers a chance to win free food in a digital scavenger hunt across the internet. The "Wendy's Cyber Search" is giving away $5,000 in prizes to fans who follow clues to find gift codes on Spotify, Twitch and Wendys.com, per an announcement shared with Mobile Marketer.
- Each day this week, the @Wendys account on Twitter will share hints on how to find the codes, which can be redeemed for gift cards. After tracking down the codes, participants must send them in a direct message to the Wendy's account for a chance to win.
- The gift cards' values rise every day after yesterday's kickoff at $10 each. The final day of the scavenger hunt is May 8, when Wendy's is offering one grand prize of $1,000, per the contest rules.
Wendy's online scavenger hunt aims to engage its most loyal customers with an activity they can enjoy either while stuck at home or on-the-go in many parts of the U.S. that are gradually easing lockdowns. The online activity can drive visits to Wendy's branded digital assets on other platforms like Spotify, the audio streaming service with about 74 million users in North America, and Twitch, Amazon's gaming and livestreaming platform. Raising consumer awareness of its branded presence on those platforms could help with future promotions and extend its reach.
Wendy's latest promotion follows past digital efforts aimed at connecting with younger customers who are heavy users of social media and consume the most fast food. About 45% of fast-food customers are between the ages of 20 and 39, compared with only 38% of people 40 to 59 and 24% of folks 60 and up, per a study by the National Center for Health Statistics. Meanwhile, about 73% of U.S. adult Twitter users are 18 to 49, compared with 54% of the general population in that age group, per Pew Research Center. That younger-skewing audience makes Twitter more significant to brands like Wendy's that want to reach millennials and Generation Z.
Wendy's has carved out a strong digital presence with its snarky Twitter persona that trades jabs with followers and trolls rivals. The chain has extended that presence among other digital platforms as the first brand to sponsor a takeover of the gas-price comparison app GasBuddy, and the rollout of branded video games in a digital arcade created by Giphy. Wendy's last year made a branded avatar for the hit multiplayer game "Fortnite" to reach U.S. teens, and promoted the launch of Baconfest with limited-time free delivery from DoorDash in a follow-up campaign.
The scavenger hunt is a sign that Wendy's is seeking to maintain the presence of its brand while the fast-food industry faces daunting challenges during the coronavirus pandemic. Lockdowns have made these chains more dependent on drive-thru and delivery services as they shutter dining rooms. The company reported a 20% drop in same-store sales in the week ending March 22 as lockdowns went into effect in many cities and states.
The timing of the pandemic has been unfortunate for Wendy's, which had intended to spend as much as $70 million to $80 million to promote its breakfast menu that had helped to lift same-store sales with a nationwide launch in early March. The company said it would suspend ads that focused on breakfast and instead support its franchise system in other ways, per an announcement. The company will report Q1 results on May 6.