Wendy’s reimagines a classic tagline to introduce its breakfast menu

By asking "where's the bacon?" the QSR is once again taking shots at its competition as it tries to win the growing daypart.

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Wendy’s tagline from the 80s, “where’s the beef?” became a catchphrase and part of the common vernacular as a way to question something that’s all sizzle, no steak. Now the QSR is updating the verbiage to pit its breakfast sandwich against the competition.

Its latest spot once against features a drab fast food location and a trio of grandmothers grousing about the dryness of a sad looking bun, but this time asking, “where’s the bacon?”

Created by McCann Canada, the campaign aims to recreate the essence of the original 1984 ad spot while modernizing it.

“Breakfast is growing, now that we are post pandemic, it is one of the largest dayparts in Canada,” explains Lisa Deletroz, senior director of marketing for Wendy’s Restaurants of Canada, who adds that this was the perfect time to bring in a revised version of “Where’s the beef?” in response to consumers asking the QSR about bringing breakfast to Canada.

Deletroz says bacon is a differentiator in that its bacon is baked in store, rather than microwaved, which is standard QSR procedure. This reiterates what CMO Liz Geraghty told strategy about how it plans to win the breakfast wars, by challenging Canadians to say goodbye to the dry English muffin and the see-through bacon heated up in a microwave and instead opting for fresh-cooked bacon, square sausages and fresh-cracked eggs.

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The target is mass market, Deletroz says, people who are re-entering normal routines of returning to work.

On social, the brand is taking further shots at the competition, including breakfast rival Tim Hortons, which recently announced a back to basics approach to improving quality of its core menu, as well as capturing more afternoon and evening dayparts.

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National OOH and transit shelters along with digital and social inventory started asking “where’s the bacon” earlier this month as a teaser, accompanied by a hero shot of underwhelming breakfast sandwiches in the brand colours of Wendy’s competitors.

“We are using our tone and sass and trying to carve a niche for ourselves in this market,” Deletroz maintains.

Running nationally until June 19, the “Where’s the Bacon” campaign will use TV, OOH, digital, social, radio, mobile, search and online audio to promote the new breakfast offerings. A selection of influencers will carry the message through TikTok and Instagram.

Compared with previous campaign iterations, Deletroz says it’s leaning more into social and online.

There’s also long-standing sponsorship of the Big Brother Canada property. Deletroz says Wendy’s has been lead sponsor on Head of Household, the contestant in charge of the Big Brother house and that it’s continuing to update every year, and evaluate what works within the space.

All media strategy, planning and buying was handled by Initiative while all PR elements were handled by Ketchum.