Wendy’s has become known for its social presence thanks to sassy replies and cultural moments like our mixtape #NuggsForCarter and Fortnite. So for the fifth year of #NationalRoastDay, which was created for Twitter (now X), we did the unthinkable and took it to TikTok. We created a custom real-time animated character of our logo and set TikTok ablaze with the sass that has made Wendy’s famous. We created our own made-up holiday all about our brand that has become a part of other brands’ marketing calendars and a day of celebration for Wendy’s fans, thus creating our biggest #NationalRoastDay yet

11 Wendys CS Roast Day23 Conform 1
Wendy’s iconic social presence is known and loved by fans, so our National Roast Day on TikTok is the perfect platform to introduce virtual Wendy.

McKay Hathaway

Executive Creative Director, VML

Wendy’s became famous with headline-grabbing tweets by acting like a person, not a brand. But tweets can only get you so far.

To get love, you have to give love, but we all show love in our own unique ways. Almost paradoxically, the closer we are to someone, the funnier and seemingly meaner we can be. There are some things you can get away with saying to your friends, but would be plain mean if said to a stranger.

We had made friends, developing a large, significant social following. But we needed to act like close friends to take our relationship to a deeper level. And that often means a little tough love.

So we created a moment on Gen Z’s biggest platform, TikTok, to celebrate our followers and deepen our relationship with them by roasting them like only a close friend would. And we did it in a way that was unique to Wendy’s and unique to TikTok with a custom real-time animation of a virtual Wendy character.

To launch our new fully animated Wendy’s character, we declared #NationalRoastDay and invited our followers to ask to be roasted on TikTok.

In true Wendy’s fashion, we brought the sass. Who did we roast? Anyone who asked. Men, women, children, dogs, bands, brands, celebrities, nobodies, celebrity nobodies and even more brands.

How did we know what to say? In an era of automated personalization at scale, we opted for authenticity with artisanal handcrafted roasts delivered in real time. Sometimes we shot from the hip, sometimes we quickly scoured their social media profiles, and sometimes, for people famous enough, we used Google or pulled from pop culture history.

In 72 hours:

  • +100 MM TikTok views
  • +200 K new TikTok followers
  • +300 MM earned media impressions

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2023 New York Festivals

2023 New York Festivals

Social Media & Influencer - Community Engagement


2023 New York Festivals

2023 New York Festivals

Social Media & Influencer - User-Generated Content