I was scrolling social media the other day. Just wasting time and procrastinating when I came across a brilliant marketing campaign. I just had to share. Turns out that February 11 was #NationalRoastDay. Well, at least according to Wendy’s.


It started with a simple tweet.

“Time for everybody’s favorite made up social media holiday. It’s #NationalRoastDay, like right now. Drop a ‘Roast Me’ below and feel the burn.”

It’s simple and to the point. However, it created marketing gold.



First and foremost, that tweet practically begged people to participate. When you create a social media marketing campaign allowing people to participate, you’re setting yourself up for success. It may work. I may not. But you’ve put yourself in a successful position.

People are always looking for ways to feel part of something. By inviting them to participate in the fun, you are letting them in on the joke. By welcoming them in, they feel closer to you and your brand.


Personal Recognition

#NationalRoastDay was especially brilliant because not only did it invite people to be a part of the fun, but it recognized them as individual people. Not just a group of customers. 

Marketing these days is all about recognizing individuals. It’s about letting people know that you see them. These people are not just customer numbers or order numbers, they are people with likes, dislikes, and personalities. 

Wendy’s recognized that. Roasts, by definition, are personalized jokes. Big or small, Wendy’s took the time to roast each person that requested it.



Perhaps my favorite part of this campaign was the levity. Everyone needs a good laugh and Wendy’s found a way to provide it without being offensive. You had to ask to be roasted and then be prepared for what you received in return. Knowing that both sides were willing participants made this campaign funny.

Best of all, even if you weren’t the one being roasted, you still got a good laugh.


Shareable Content

Those laughs created shareable content. I found this campaign because I was looking at a friend’s social media. It was something he shared with all of his friends.

What’s more, major brands like Aviation Gin, Triscuits, Pringles potato chips, and more tweeted at Wendy’s asking to be roasted. 

With this marketing campaign, Wendy’s didn’t just reach its Twitter followers, but it reached the Twitter followers of dozens of name brands. 

Talk about exposure.



That exposure cost Wendy’s a grand total of $0. 

Twitter is free to use and free to share. Wendy’s used a simple tweet to generate millions of dollars of free marketing. Think of how many television stations picked up on this buzz and shared the laughs on the evening news. How many companies tweeted at Wendy’s and asked to be roasted? Think of the number of celebrities that did the same.

Wendy’s marketing campaign created a buzz of free media simply by placing a few employees in front of Twitter for the day.



Wendy’s was incredibly lucky with this campaign. It could have just as easily been a flop and then we wouldn’t be talking about it.

However, the company took a shot, and sometimes that’s all you need to do. 

Wendy’s proved with #NationalRoastDay that it’s possible to have an amazing marketing idea and generate marketing without breaking the bank. 

All you have to do is take a shot.


Written by Erika Towne