Wendy’s partnered with the Philadelphia 76ers for the 2017-2018 season and created an in-game experience that electrified the crowd, put pressure on the opposing team and seamlessly weaved the Wendy’s brand within the unrivaled Philadelphia sports scene. The Frosty Freeze-Out occurs in the second half of each home game, where fans create chaos and wave cut-outs of Wendy’s Frosty and logos to make the opposing team miss at the free throw line. If the visiting player misses consecutive free throws, the market is treated to a free Frosty the next day at Wendy’s.
The result: Opponents converted a league-low 77.3% of free throws at Sixers home games, which drove Wendy’s traffic for free Frosty treats!
Building on the success of the first year, Empower expanded the program for the 2018-2019 season to engage the broader community and crew across multiple touchpoints. Tiered rewards are offered should the Freeze-Out be triggered multiple times in the same game to drive more traffic. To increase hype in-stadium, Wendy’s added a decibel meter in the form a Frosty cup that fills as noise in The Wells Fargo Center increases when opponents are at the line. Since fans crave insider information, Wendy’s integrated Freeze-Out messaging into the official app of the 76ers and in the stories feature on the team’s Instagram account.
Wendy’s also recognized their own employees are fans, so Empower created co-branded visors for the crew, and co-branded Frosty cups to generate excitement in-restaurant and further integrate both brands. To increase awareness of the partnership, Wendy’s secured media with the local channel that airs the 76ers games, NBC Sports Philadelphia, with Wendy’s having ownership of the Wendy’s Play of the Game across all NBC Sports Philly media outlets. Lastly, Wendy’s will run boosted Facebook posts around key rivalries and home stands.
By increasing their presence in-arena, elevating the in-restaurant experience and amplifying the message to the greater Philadelphia community, Wendy’s will keep the excitement of the Frosty Freeze-Out going long after the final buzzer sounds.
Wendy’s challenged us to drive local market awareness and trigger trial of the QSR’s award-winning core menu items. We also were charged with aggressively communicating Wendy’s point-of-difference versus direct bacon competitors (McDonald’s, Burger King, Chick Fil A).
Wendy’s has 50% share of the bacon cheeseburger category #1-selling bacon cheeseburger in the world Others treat bacon as a topping, usually cooked or rubberized in microwaves
We selected Spotify as our media partner to bring Wendy’s sizzling point-of-difference to life via distinct Talent and/or Content that best targeted loyal customers and bacon lovers.
Together we leveraged ASMR, or Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response. The custom creative focused on triggering a physical reaction, resulting in craving Wendy’s Bacon.
ASMR proved to break through the clutter of ads Spotify users typically hear and effectively promoted Bacon products available at Wendy’s. The Bacon ASMR spot drove positive year-over-year increases for Wendy’s, with some markets up as high as +8% in same store sales!