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Wendy’s. “3conomics” By: Lana Maric. Wendy’s started in Columbus, OH in 1969 by Dave Thomas. 3 rd largest hamburger fast food chain in the world. Menu includes hamburgers, chicken sandwiches, fries, beverages, wraps, and salads

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wendy s



By: Lana Maric

a little bit of history

Wendy’s started in Columbus, OH in 1969 by Dave Thomas.

  • 3rd largest hamburger fast food chain in the world.
  • Menu includes hamburgers, chicken sandwiches, fries, beverages, wraps, and salads
  • No signature sandwich, e.g. Big Mac at McDonald’s; however, it differentiates itself by using square patties for its hamburgers.
  • Dave Thomas died in 2002 and since then Wendy’s has been trying to find an effective advertising campaign.
  • Dave was the face of many ads in the past; he was the source of brand loyalty.
  • In 2008, Wendy’s came up with new slogan: "It's waaaay better than fast food. It's Wendy's.’
  • In Canada, the same slogan
  • is “It's waaaaaaaaaay delicious. It's Wendy's.”
A little bit of history…

Wendy’s Mission:

  • According to Ken Calwell, its Chief Marketing Officer, Wendy’s mission is “to build Wendy’s reputation as the quality leader in the hamburger quick-service restaurant category with enhanced customer service, breakthrough new products, improved core menu choices and leading edge-marketing.”

Wendy’s strategy:

I. Commitment to its employees in order to exceed customer service satisfaction.

II. Commitment to food quality and freshness.

III. Commitment to giving back—especially helping children in need.

Something you may not know…Wendy’s was industry’s first to create a super value menu with 99 cents items in 1989.
current state of the economy brings on the new mindset

Consumers are price conscious; they are re-evaluating their spending habits and finding ways to cut cost and increase savings.

  • The article “All Consumers Cutting Spending” indicates that “72% of respondents have made significant cuts because of the economy.” The same article confirms that consumers are increasing their focus on “need and value.”
  • Brand trust is still important.
  • To respond to the new mindset, Wendy’s turned to its new 3conomics marketing campaign. The ad employs the tagline “3conomics” to endorse its recession inspired $0.99 value menu featuring 3 sandwiches: Junior Bacon, Double Stack and Crispy Chicken Sandwich.
Current State of the Economy Brings on the New Mindset
evaluating wendy s ad effectiveness

What is the principal message I got from this ad?

Wendy’s is a great place to get quality food

at great value. I can maximize my value at


  • What does the ad want me to believe, know, or do?

In these tough economic times, price matters, but it should not sacrifice quality. At Wendy’s, I can get better than fast food quality for only $1.00 per sandwich. In addition, I can choose from 3 different sandwich varieties.

  • How likely is it that this ad will influence me to take action?

I don’t think it has immediate call for action, unless I am very hungry. However, I think the commercial is effective in its capacity to deliver the message that a consumer can carry on and remember when hunger calls.

Evaluating Wendy’s Ad Effectiveness
evaluating wendy s ad effectiveness1

v. What works well in the ad and what doesn’t work?

Pros:Thecommercial is catchy and memorable due to its

simplicity and humor. It connects well. It offers value plus variety.

3conomics is a catchy name—it’s implications fit with the current


Cons: The slogan, “It’s waaay better than fast food. It’s Wendy’s” is not a good idea because even though Wendy’s may have better than average fast food quality, it does not compare to eating hamburgers at most sit-down restaurants. The slogan questions Wendy’s long term direction. It makes me wonder if Wendy’s has a clear brand strategy. The company identifies itself as part of the quick service restaurant category, yet in this ad it implies that it may not even fit in with the quick service industry. The slogan is sending conflicting messages to consumers.

vi. How does it make me feel? It relaxes me due to its humor. I identify with the characters because I understand the message. It’s simple. It reminds me that we are in a recession—an economic downturn that can affect anyone and everyone. Wendy’s appears trustworthy because the ad exemplifies togetherness. Yet it doesn’t rely on price as its only driver. It offers variety, quality, and value. I feel like I have more “value” choices compare to other fast food chains, which add worth. Empathy reinforces my emotional connection with Wendy’s food items.

Evaluating Wendy’s Ad Effectiveness


  • The ad explicitly recognizes the current economic climate, stays current to its mood, and effectively addresses it. Even the opening dollar at the beginning of the commercial is indicative of value maximization. The recession- conscientious consumers demand value and Wendy’s has responded to this demand.
  • The ad successfully drives brand trust by delivering key practical value and by connecting and forming a bond with its consumers (building a relationship).
  • Wendy’s current slogan: If it isn’t fast food, what exactly is Wendy’s?


  • Wendy’s should find a different slogan that emphasizes the quality of their food, freshness of their ingredients, and honesty in the way they do business—in alliance with Dave’s initial brand objectives.
  • Wendy’s strengths include variety, quality, freshness, value, square patties, and customer service. Emphasizing customer service strengthens brand loyalty ; it reinforces the emotional connection. Their advertising campaign needs to utilize all of the key strengths.


  • Wendy’s has been inconsistent in their advertising campaigns. In addition, the fast food industry represents an extremely competitive market filled with “value” deals.

e.g., Burger King Junior Whopper is just one dollar;

Mcdonad’shas a dollar menu; and Taco Bell features “Why Pay More” menu for items less than a dollar.

Is Wendy’s truly differentiating itself from its rivals?


Recently in the news…

Zagat’s 2009 Fast Food Survey:

  • Over 6000 survey participants
  • 45 fast food chains
  • Wendy’s rated #1 Mega Chain in 3 categories: food, facilities and top overall.

Maybe Wendy’s is Waaaaay better…

the end

The End

Questions? Comments?