SBD/December 20, 2012/Marketing and Sponsorship

It's Awesome, Baby! Wendy's Signs ESPN's Dick Vitale For Upcoming Ad Campaign

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Vitale's deal with Wendy's currently runs through the end of March
Wendy’s has signed ESPN’s Dick Vitale to be featured in a new campaign the QSR is running around its “Baconator” and “Son of Baconator” hamburgers. Financial details were not disclosed, but the deal will feature a television and radio campaign to air in seven northeastern cities including N.Y., Boston and Philadelphia. It also will have an online component with social media and digital tie-ins, as well as an enter-to-win competition running through late March in which the winner will receive a lunch for two with Vitale at a Wendy’s location near their home and a $5,000 gift certificate. Fans can sign up in stores or through the specially-created website ItsTheBaconBaby.com, which will debut on Feb. 25, the same day the campaign as a whole officially kicks off. The effort will feature in-store marketing, with posters promoting the program. The TV spot, which was shot last week in Tampa, features Vitale at a Wendy’s, schmoozing with two people over a “Baconator” sandwich meal. The idea to utilize Vitale came in conjunction with the company’s desire to engineer an uptick in the visibility of its hamburger lineup, specifically the “Baconator” and the hamburger’s newer family member, the “Son of Baconator.” Wendy’s Field Marketing Manager Ray Arruda said, “There’s no one that I know of that does a better job announcing college basketball than Dick Vitale, and certainly as we looked at establishing a relationship to use some promotion behind our ‘Baconator,’ we decided his personality and his talent would be perfect for our brand.”

ATTRACTING THE DIAPER DANDIES: Arruda said that the company is seeking to appeal to all ages within the 18-49 age bracket with the campaign. However, if there is a specific target, it is to raise its resonance with younger males. Arruda said, “Those younger consumers who most likely are male are probably most inclined to respond to the advertising, but certainly we target all of our general market consumers.” He added, “We do believe that the market will have a little bit of a male skew to it just given Dick Vitale’s personality and what he’s doing in the college basketball community.” Vitale for his part noted that he was excited to be publicly backing the company, saying, “Wendy’s just is a great product that I have no problem being involved with." The deal currently is planned to run through March 31st, and Arruda said the determinant in whether the company extends its relationship with Vitale will be dependent on results from the campaign and how much buzz it generates. Vitale said that thus far he was pleased with the way things were going with Wendy’s, and if the QSR wants to lengthen the deal, it is certainly something he would consider. Vitale said, “Whatever they want me to do, man, I’m there. I’m a trooper.” Vitale is repped by IMG for commercial work.
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