VML Tells Stories of Food Deemed Unfit for Wendy’s Baconator

By Erik Oster 

After winning full creative duties on the Wendy’s account back in March, followed by creative promotions and running a campaign promoting the chain’s Summer Berry Chicken Salad, the agency has turned its attention to the Baconator in a new campaign that debuted with three spots. The campaign marks the first effort with group creative director/recently-announced hire Pat Piper.

The three spots each take a look at food deemed unworthy, for one reason or another, of being part of the baconator, emphasizing how the artery clogging creation never utilizes frozen beef, microwaved bacon or anything resembling a vegetable. In “Frozen Beef Need Not Apply” a frozen beef patty from Australia applies for a job at Baconator Inc., where he’s questioned by a bacon strip interviewer. He slips up when he says he’s dreamt of being part of the Baconator team for years, but stumbles to a recovery. Unfortunately for him, there’s one more “formality” before he can get the job.

In “Microwaves Are A Dealbreaker,” it’s the bacon answering questions from a “modern, fresh, never-frozen patty” he met using the meat-swipe app. She’s a bit taken aback by his appearance (thinner than she expected from his Meat Swipe photo) and when she finds out he’s been microwaved, that’s the final straw. Another spot, “No Veggies Allowed,” sees a group of young vegetables trying to get into the Baconator club with fake IDs.

The approach is certainly an odd one. While it does manage to find a narrative emphasizing the chain’s dedication to fresh beef and oven-cooked bacon, the attempts at humor arrive instead at vaguely creepy. Talking/ambulatory meat is just disconcerting—this isn’t a Jan Svankmeyer film here. “No Veggies Allowed” actually manages to be the least creepy of the bunch, but a rejection of fresh veggies (which would arguably improve the burger) is a strange way to hype the Baconator. But then again it might be appreciated by the type of carnivore who would exclusively wolf down the meaty creation.


Client: Wendy’s
Advertising Agency: VML, Kansas, USA
Chief Creative Officer: Debbi Vandeven
Executive Creative Director: Chris Corley
Group Creative Director: Pat Piper
Creative Director: Daniel Lobaton
Associate Creative Director: Ethan Tedlock
Senior Copywriter: David Brandorff
Associate Art Director: McKailey Carson
Associate Copywriter: Ant Tull
Senior Producer: Michael Kinney
Associate Producer: Shae Mermis
Group Director: Jason Bass
Director, Client Engagement: Kelly Gartenmayer
Supervisor, Client Engagement: Nicole Debrick
Business Affairs Manager: Julie Kolton
Campaign Manager: Patty Jones
Production Company: Moo Studios
Director: Shaun Sewter
Producer: David Lyons
Line Producer: Monica Monique
Producer : Bennett Conrad
Editorial: Liquid 9
Editor : Ryan Lewis
Editor: Katie Wade
Production Coordinator: Kate Zadoo