If, by “gaming”, you meant “experiments in virally related video in social media networks” — then the answer is yes. Although its not the first attempt at a company producing video to pormote its products, it may be one of the first to expressly develop it for the YouTube generation. Three videos masquerading as home movies have been uploaded which, when one follows the trail of breadcrumbs, leads it back to a site promoting Wendy’s 99c Value Menu. [Courtesy of MediaPost].
Columbus, Ohio-based Wendy’s posted the videos Oct. 20. Spokesman Denny Lynch said the point of the videos “is to reach younger consumers, and do it in a way that provides entertainment values and humor.” The www.bbv99.com Web site was created in conjunction with the videos; MRM Worldwide, a unit of McCann-Erickson, Wendy’s agency of record, handled.
In light of some memes floating around one wonders what, if any, relevance all of this has with ideas around disclosure. Well, here’s my three cents:
the videos are campy, and the site tries to be funny — and on a certain level succeeds. There is absolutely no mistaking what the videos are for, what they’re trying to do, and who they’re representing.
Now, Wendy’s doesn’t have the kind of controversy that Wal-Mart has to deal with, but its interesting to see how Wendy’s has dealt with the “disclosure” issue on this one. It didn’t try and hide it — but it owned up to it, played up to it, in a wink-wink “I know you know what I’m doing” fashion.Â I can’t imagine that all kinds of brands can integrate this level of post-cynical type of humour, but for some it might be the way to go.
[disclosure: I actually like a few items on the 99c Value Menu]