Wendy’s Just Wants to Keep it Real

By Kiran Aditham 

While Burger King’s MO these days is to gussy up its restaurants, rival Wendy’s is going the “freshness and quality” route with a new ad campaign featuring the slogan “You Know When It’s Real.”

According to the Wall Street Journal, the fast-food chain’s Q4 effort costs a cool $75 million and will include 25 TV and 23 radio spots, 16 billboard ads and “a slew of online promotions”…all in an effort to subtly goad competitors and plug its latest artery-clogging fare: the Bacon Deluxe.


Still, WSJ says Wendy’s has had an identity crisis since founder Dave Thomas passed in 2002. Ron Paul, president of Chicago restaurant consultancy Technomic and not the presidential candidate, tells the trade, “It’s still unclear to me what Wendy’s stands for.”

Well, that’s for the chain’s new AOR Kaplan Thaler to figure out. The agency’s chief Linda Kaplan tells WSJ, “There is a backlash against synthesized foods”, hence the “real” angle of the campaign. According to the article, Wendy’s doled out $305 million on ad time and space, which is somewhat measly compared to the $820 million spent by Mickey D’s.

More: “Kaplan Thaler Takes Home Wendy’s