White Castle’s Chicken Rings Double as Must-Have Accessories in Improv Stunt

Brand's Facebook Live effort delights for 42 minutes

Bubbly hosts Janelle and Heather kept the momentum going for the full 42 minutes. White Castle
Headshot of Doug Zanger

In the world of improvised content, there are some gold standards. Will Ferrell and Molly Shannon come to mind, yet their schticks for the Rose Parade and Royal Wedding weren’t necessarily brand-focused. Attempting to create live improv for a brand is an entirely different proposition.

That said, White Castle gave the home shopping vibe a go last night on Facebook Live, touting their crispy chicken rings as the go-to fashion accessory. Going live and long-form—as Merkley + Partners and Washington Square Films did for this project—is rife with all manner of pitfalls, but bubbly hosts Janelle and Heather kept the momentum going for the full 42 minutes.

It’s no easy task keeping up with comment reactions—some unsavory, apropos of nothing or generally weird, as one would expect—but the hosts and characters managed to pick the best nuggets (or rings?) to keep the gag afloat. It’s also no easy task to riff for over 40 minutes on a single item, but the pacing and structure works, keeping you hungry for more.

A few particularly fun moments include the many stylish ways to wear the rings, a bit where the hosts asked “which sauce are you, and why?” and a lovable-yet-awkward ring appraiser named Doug with a few choice zingers. Wrapping the livestream up was a boyfriend in a week-long relationship that began in a White Castle, proposing marriage (poorly) to his new girlfriend with a chicken ring.

Overall, the stunt grabbed a decent amount of attention with 46,000 views, close to 1,000 comments and 98 percent positive reaction sentiment.

If you have 42 minutes to spare, it’s a fun watch—but we’re not responsible for resulting chicken ring cravings.


Client: White Castle
VP of Marketing: Lynn Blashford
Restaurant Brand Manager: Steve Zvonek
Communications Supervisor: Raydelle Clement
Digital Marketing Manager: Aaron Lahman
Assistant Communications Supervisor: Bethany Rinehart
Agency: Merkley + Partners
CEO: Alex Gellert
Exec. Creative Director/Partner: Andy Hirsch
Group Creative Head/Copywriter: Eddie Van Bloem
Group Creative Head/Art Director: Saks Afridi

Copywriter: Michael Williams
Art Director: Jacqui Bontke
Director Broadcast Production: Gary Grossman
Senior Producer: Alex Kobak
Director of Business Affairs: Pam Carden
Business Manager: Pat Milo
Group Account Director: Maggi Vale
Account Supervisor: Lauren Gonzalez
Account Executive: William Brzozowski
EVP, Director of Digital Integration: Jennifer Cimmino
Associate Director, Social Media: Kimberly Price
Dr Digital Project Manager: Tiffany Chaplin
Content Manager: Benjamin Delatte
Director: Carrie Stett
Executive Producer: Kyle Martin
Producer: Aaron Rosenbloom

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@zanger doug.zanger@adweek.com Doug Zanger is a senior editor, agencies at Adweek, focusing on creativity and agencies.