Wendy’s Invites Consumers to Escape a Spooky Halloween Drive-Thru

Brand launches three-day contactless stunt in Los Angeles

The stunt features a giant Wendy's jack-o-lantern. Jordan Strauss for Wendy's
Headshot of Ian Zelaya

No one will experience a normal Halloween this year, but brands are debuting safe ways to engage consumers around the holiday, from contactless trick-or-treating to driveable activations.

Wendy’s is combining both strategies by giving one of its California locations a Halloween-themed makeover. The fast food brand debuted the Wendy’s Scare-Thru Experience at its 8810 South Garfield Avenue location in South Gate, just south of downtown Los Angeles.

From Oct. 29-31, the temporarily transformed location invites visitors to drive through a giant bubbling cauldron, which will lead them to a spooky experience that involves crashing a dinner party hosted by a “Mad King” (who looks eerily like Burger King’s mascot) and encountering a creepy clown laboratory.

Consumers enter the activation through a cauldron.Jordan Strauss for Wendy’s

Vignettes include skeletons having dinner, with a portrait of the “Mad King.”Jordan Strauss for Wendy’s

After purchasing a meal, consumers can escape haunted scarecrows and jack-o-lanterns in the activation by driving out of a giant pumpkin fashioned after Wendy herself.

The first 5,000 customers to visit the location will also receive a free “Boo Book” that includes coupons for a free Frosty as a reward for escaping the experience intact.

For those not in the Los Angeles area, Wendy’s will also have a nationwide offer for consumers on Twitter. On Oct. 31, the brand will post a “bone-chilling” tweet that invites fans to download the Wendy’s app to redeem a free Frosty with their first in-app order.

Guests are required to wear masks during the experience.Jordan Strauss for Wendy’s

“This Halloween we’ll leave the frightening tricks to our frozen-beef competitors and focus our Halloween celebration on delighting our customers with memorable experiences and treats as only we can,” Carl Loredo, Wendy’s U.S. chief marketing officer, said in a statement. “Between our Scare-Thru makeover in Los Angeles and treating our Twitter fans nationwide to a free Frosty treat, we’ve got our fans’ backs this Halloween.”

Wendy’s partnered with agencies VMLY&R, the Marketing Arm (TMA), Spark Foundry and Ketchum to produce the three-day stunt.

ian.zelaya@adweek.com Ian Zelaya is an Adweek reporter covering how brands engage with consumers in the modern world, ranging from experiential marketing and social media to email marketing and customer experience.