While love songs typically express devotion with lyrics about "you" and "forever," quick-service chain Wendy's is adding "bacon," "cheese," and "pretzel bread" to the mix in an initiative that celebrates what it calls its "most anticipated product of the summer" - and the fans who love it.
The campaign, Pretzel Love Songs, creates love songs out of social commentary.
Fans are invited to post their feelings about Wendy's new Pretzel Bacon Cheeseburger with the hashtag #PretzelLoveSongs on Twitter and Facebook. In turn, Wendy's turns what it deems the most creative posts into love song lyrics, which it says will be scored and sung by professional musicians and vocalists.
The songs will be featured in five music videos through the summer.
The first was posted to YouTube on July 7:
As of Wednesday, it had 7,400 views.
Lyrics in the inaugural video include, "Fireworks...in my mouth hole!" and, "Spent the morning trying to come up with a Wendy's pretzel burger joke before giving up because it actually sounds delicious."
Featured lyrics include the participant's name, Twitter handle, and profile photo.
Wendy's spokesman Denny Lynch says the lyrics in the first video include comments from test markets as well as early markets when Wendy's was introducing the product.
"Now we'll continue to capture those comments and tweets and we will make four more videos that will be used all summer long," he adds.
The singer in the first video was selected after a casting call, Lynch says. Future videos may include talent from the improv group Second City, he adds.
The promotion runs through August. The finale video will feature recording artist, television personality and Jessica Simpson ex Nick Lachey.
Lynch says Wendy's is looking for creativity and happiness in potential lyrics.
"We want to let customers profess their love of pretzel bread and cheeseburgers," Lynch says. "Think about what we just combined - it's three American favorites: cheeseburgers, bacon, and pretzels."
The goal is to encourage as many lyrics as possible, Lynch says. The first video includes nine.
To promote the initiative, Wendy's hosted a live event in New York City on July 8. In it, Lachey sang tweets using "some of the most creative and love-filled posts from Pretzel Bacon Cheeseburger fans," Wendy's says. Fans could watch on the Livestream page or on Wendy's Facebook page and submit their own feelings for the Pretzel Bacon Cheeseburger using the aforementioned hashtag. According to the Livestream page, it had about 2,200 views.
Wendy's says Lachey will select his favorite posts and incorporate them into a Pretzel Love Songs finale video in August.
The campaign came about after Wendy's tested the Pretzel Bacon Cheeseburger earlier this year and consumers expressed their "mad love of pretzel bread" and posted their reviews online.
"Almost immediately, customers tweeted about it and posted comments and pictures," Lynch says. "Most of it was about their love of pretzel bread, so we knew we had a potential winner on our hands."
This created what Wendy's calls "a viral outpouring of consumers searching for the sandwich at their local Wendy's," the brand says. The "love fest" became the impetus for the campaign.
"We're promoting a product, but also engaging with our customers in a way that we hope they enjoy and they feel is very relevant," Lynch says.
The promotion targets a younger audience that "lives on social media" and "gets their content driven by mobile devices," Lynch says.
Promotion for Pretzel Love Songs includes national TV, radio, Hispanic TV, digital and social media, restaurant merchandising, and outdoor billboards.
Wendy's has 3.8 million Facebook fans and 270,000 followers on Twitter.
The Wendy's Company is the world's third largest quick-service hamburger company. The Wendy's system includes more than 6,500 franchise and company restaurants in the U.S. and 27 countries and U.S. territories worldwide, the brand says.
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March 19, 2014