Wendy's Putting Digital Ads in Bars

Interactive Jukeboxes Will Make Pitch as Patrons Browse Music Selections

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CHICAGO (AdAge.com) -- Out drinking and got the munchies? Wendy's is just the ticket.
The ads appear on a broadband 'touch-screen media network' that provides digital music to bars and restaurants.
The ads appear on a broadband 'touch-screen media network' that provides digital music to bars and restaurants.

The fast-feeder and its media agency, MediaVest New York, are launching a digital ad campaign across 5,100 bars and restaurants located within one mile of a Wendy's. The Starcom unit partnered with San Francisco-based Ecast, a broadband "touch-screen media network" that provides digital music to bars and restaurants, with the goal that late-night revelers will stumble on a Wendy's ad while browsing for a song to play. When touched, the ads expand into a full microsite, including directions to the nearest Wendy's.

"We have research that shows nearly half of our users will stop on the way home to get something to eat," said Ecast's senior VP-advertising sales, George Giatzis. "But do you really need science to tell you that people go to bars, have a few drinks and get hungry? It's kind of a no-brainer of the category."

Worth a try
Wendy's spokesman Bob Bertini said this type of campaign is "very new for us." The chain did its first promotion with Ecast in January touting its 99-cent Stack Attack, but Mr. Bertini said it's too early to quantify return on investment.

"Music is obviously very important to our target consumer, the 18- to 34-year-old consumer," Mr. Bertini said. "It's an opportunity to reach out to them in a way that is meaningful and highly relevant to them."

In other words, Wendy's may have retired its men in wigs, but the chain is still aggressively pursuing young men who want a hot, juicy burger. Mr. Bertini said tactics like these are part of the $435 million advertiser's "overall digital strategy" and that "you may well see more promotions with Ecast moving forward." The current promotion will last for one month.

MediaVest didn't respond immediately to requests for comment. Wendy's splits its creative duties between MDC Partners' Kirshenbaum Bond & Partners and Publicis Groupe's Saatchi & Saatchi.
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