Whataburger launches WhataWings by debating if boneless chicken wings are even wings

McGarrah Jessee dips into ‘wing culture’ with comic campaign including a spot set at a fictional city council meeting

Published On
Jan 04, 2024
A bearded man in a brown cardigan speaking at a city council meeting

Editor's Pick

Chicken wing debates can be polarizing—like, city council level polarizing.

McGarrah Jessee helps Whataburger introduce WhataWings with a tongue-in-cheek campaign about what, exactly, constitutes a chicken wing. More specifically, can a boneless wing be classified as a wing, or is it just a glorified chicken tender bite?

This is brought to life in a 30-second spot with a town resident filing an official complaint opposing WhataWings at a city council hearing. The guy is perfectly cast, giving off conspiracy theory vibes as he makes a giant fuss about nothing (the kind of nothing frequently debated in places like Reddit).

 

The spot was directed by Laura Murphy and produced by Gravy Films and The Voorhes. By addressing what the fast-food chain terms “boneless skeptics,” Whataburger said it’s aiming to “diffuse the debate” and shift the narrative to how good the product is—whatever you want to call it.

“Our customers and superfans are clever. They deserve an ad campaign that gives a wink and a nod to their kitschy sense of humor,” said Donna Tuttle, Whataburger’s VP of marketing and communications. “It was exciting to unleash the creativity of McGarrah Jessee and the Whataburger team.”

“I'm thrilled to unveil our latest commercial—a testament to our fun-loving brand and the passion of our highly engaged fans with strong opinions,” added Brooks Boenig, the company’s director of advertising and media. “We aimed to amplify the freshness of our new WhataWings with an entirely new, comedic approach, making a bold statement.”

Whataburger is also making a limited-edition “Boneless Bone” utensil, paired with a wet wipe, to satisfy chicken-wing traditionalists. There’s also a line of apparel. 

Image of the Boneless Bone utensil

Image of Whataburger saucy apparel

WhataWings launched at all Whataburger locations on Jan. 2 for a limited time. The campaign also includes social videos like the one below.

 

Credits

Date
Jan 04, 2024
Client :
Whataburger
Agency :
McGarrah Jessee
Chief Creative Officer :
Tim Roan
Creative Director :
Michael Anderson
Creative Director :
Cam Miller
Senior Art Director :
Ben Estus
Senior Copywriter :
Anna Crane
Design Creative Director :
Craig Crutchfield
Senior Designer :
Colin Mumbach
Editor :
Nick Harral
Head of Production :
Laura Busino
Producer :
Laura Busino
Producer :
Sean Phung
Head of Brand Management :
Heather Miller
Brand Director :
Tess Cullers
Project Manager :
Daniela Ramirez
Chief Strategy Officer :
Jen Hruska
Strategy Director :
AJ Hickcox
Business Affairs Director :
Tanille Day-Walker
Chief Administrative Officer :
Alexander Ivannikov
VP Marketing and Communications :
Donna Tuttle
Director Marketing & Advertising :
Brooks Boenig
Senior Creative Manager :
Christina Alexander
Social Media Manager :
Davis Alcorn
Production Company :
Gravy Films
Director :
Laura Murphy
Line Producer :
Taylor Bro
Director of Photography :
Zachery Galler
Production Company :
McGarrah Jessee
Director :
Lee Helan
Director :
Nick Harral
Line Producer :
Janice Woods
Director of Photography :
Zachery Galler
Food Production Company :
The Voorhes
Food Shooter :
Adam Voorhes
Food Stylist :
Meghan Erwin
Post-Production Company :
Nomad
Post Producer :
Meredith Roach
Post Producer :
Marlee Cutbirth
Editor :
Jim Ulbrich
Color :
Roslyn Di Sisto
VFX :
David Hannah
VFX Animation :
Ariel Quintans
Audio Production Company :
Pony Sound
Audio Engineer :
Corey Roberts
Music Production Company :
Butter

Need a credit fix? Contact the Creativity Editors

Industry
Project Type