Sassy Brands on Social = Successful

By David Berry: 2017 kicked off with a bang and a botched Mariah Carey performance, just the way the universe prescribed. But it only took a couple of days for the first social media #win to show up, courtesy of Wendy's.

In case you missed it, check out this exchange between a would-be troll and a far more adept social media manager at the helm of the brand's Twitter account.

Roasted! Admittedly, the brand has been on a roll since its public thrashing of its troll. And, the public (and the industry) have been heaping praise on the brand for the past couple of days. But to call a spade a spade, what Wendy's is up to isn't anything new. That's not to downplay their hot streak.

David Ogilvy once said 'The best ideas come as jokes. Make your thinking as funny as possible.'

In that regard, this notion of humor to generate buzz (or sell burgers) is business as usual. Yet somehow, when it happens, the ad world and the general population alike celebrate these brands as progressive thinkers. But are they really?

Old Spice and Taco Bell in particular have reinvented their brands over the past decade with a great deal of success by being funny and, dare we say it, 'sassy.' When you think of Old Spice, you think of Isaiah Mustafa saying "I'm on a horse!" and laughing. When you think of Taco Bell, you probably think of their witty social persona, and them randomly sending Taco Bell-themed goods to their raving fans.

The point is this - when you really break it down, advertising (or social media, or whatever) isn't all that hard. And Wendy's is once again discovering it and simultaneously revealing it.

1. Know your audience. And 2. Find a fun, compelling angle to engage them.

No amount of fancy research or ad tech will ever change that truth.