Wendy's Signs Nick Lachey to Foist Its Pretzel Bacon Cheeseburger on the World

Boy-Band Front Man Will Sing Tweets About Latest Extreme Burger

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Nick Lachey has performed a lot of love songs in his career, but an ode to a Pretzel Bacon Cheeseburger is likely a first.

A vocalist sings praises of cheeseburger in a video.
A vocalist sings praises of cheeseburger in a video.

Visitors to Wendy's on West 34th Street in Manhattan on July 8 can see the lead vocalist of boy band 98 Degrees singing tweets from fans of the chain's newest burger. The push for the limited-time product is part of what the Dublin, Ohio chain is calling one of its biggest marketing campaigns this year. The performance of the tweets, or what Chief Marketing Officer Craig Bahner called "love songs," will be aired live on Facebook. The "lyrics" will be a combination of real-time tweets and tweets already posted to Wendy's Twitter feed with the hashtag #pretzellovesongs.

After Mr. Lachey's performance, Wendy's will release a handful of additional videos with tweet-songs performed by Second City members (though the actor in the introductory video is not part of the comedy troupe). Wendy's digital agency, VML, will be handling the digital and social aspects of the campaign, along with the videos.

But will millennials want to pay the price for a premium burger? "These are the kinds of products that Wendy's does really well," said restaurant marketing consultant Denise Lee Yohn. "But [given the price], this seems like something that is more likely to appeal to their core customer," which Ms. Lee Yohn described as older, with more money and more likely female. (The burger will retail for around $4.69 -- a high price in fast food, but not as expensive as Wendy's full-size salads or the Baconator.The product is in part an appeal to millennials. Fast-food companies have been scrambling to appeal to the demographic that favors fast-casual chains over fast-food chains and values convenience, premium ingredients, choice and healthier offerings.

In addition to the social-media push, Wendy's will run a TV ad from Publicis' Kaplan Thaler that features a no-name character dubbed Red pitching the pretzel burger.

Wendy's will also target Hispanics in an ad featuring the Rojos, the family it introduced in May.

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