'You're going to see more stuff like this': Wendy's on its fan-inspired S'Awesome Bacon Classic

Jimmy Bennett, senior director of media and social, on why the chain went all in on one fan's burger suggestion.

Photo credit: Getty images
Photo credit: Getty images

DUBLIN, OH: Wendy’s created the S’Awesome Bacon Classic based on a customer’s tweet, and it might not be done fan-sourcing its menu.

On Monday, Wendy’s tweeted that it had made a commercial and sandwich inspired by Brandon Schmidt’s (@ChildishBrandon) July tweet asking the chain to make a "S’awesome sauce burger." The burger will be available through the end of the year, said Jimmy Bennett, senior director of media and social for Wendy’s.

Wendy’s zeroed in on Schmidt’s suggestion because it was "the right tweet at the right time in the right place," he said. Bennett explained that the company always has products in its "innovation pipeline," and a S’awesome sauce burger had previously come up during internal conversations.

"Seeing fans asking about the same things we are talking about, it just came together," said Bennett, who added that Wendy’s saw an opportunity to "make a fan happy" with the campaign. "This was a great opportunity to show the rest of the community how we are we are constantly listening to fans and making things like this possible," said Bennett.

Neither the commercial nor the burger launch was a surprise to Schmidt. Wendy’s representatives had reached out to him, and the communications team also worked closely with the brand’s legal team as it took a concept from a consumer and made it a reality, Bennett said.  

Wendy’s efforts to promote the burger will include a TV ad campaign with an assist from influencer Demetrius Harmon, as well as Schmidt. Carter Wilkerson of #Nuggs4Carter fame, however, will not be a part of this push, said Bennett. Ketchum is supporting the campaign.

"We are celebrating the awesomeness of s’awesomeness," said Bennett. "We are celebrating this ability for fans to be heard and for ideas to come to life. If they want something, we’ve got their back and can make things happen."

He added that it’s too early to share results, but the campaign is getting "great feedback" and customers are asking for the burger at restaurants.

"We didn’t ask for this, but fans have been inspired and [are tweeting about] products they want to see at Wendy’s," said Bennett. "So we have to sit down with our culinary team and go through a lot of that. You’re going to see more stuff like this because we want to make sure that consumers are part of this conversation of what is going out there into the market."

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