- Wendy's has teamed with T-Pain as part of a campaign around the return of the Strawberry Frosty, per details shared with Marketing Dive.
- As part of the effort, dubbed "Fros-T-Pain," the rapper-singer has remade his 2007 hit "Buy U a Drank" with new lyrics about the Frosty flavor. "Buy U a Frosty" is available on Wendy's YouTube channel and will soon be available for consumers to duet on TikTok.
- The campaign was created by VMLY&R, produced by SixTwentySix and directed by Miles & AJ. It represents Wendy's latest attempt to engage with consumers around pop culture and follows a raft of campaigns from various brands that has seen musicians remix their hits into brand jingles.
Wendy's latest campaign aims to engage with pop culture nostalgia to promote the summertime return of its Strawberry Frosty treat. The tie-up with T-Pain touches on several marketing tactics popular with brands in recent years.
The “Fros-T-Pain” campaign features the remixed track, available on YouTube and TikTok, along with a full-length music video that features T-Pain in the studio, in front of a Strawberry Frosty-inspired coupe and in a Wendy's that has been turned into a nightclub. The final shot reveals that the entire video might be in T-Pain's head, with a Wendy's employee nodding to the "sir, this is a Wendy's" meme.
By rewriting "Buy U a Drank" as "Buy U a Frosty," Wendy's becomes the latest brand to collaborate with a musician to turn a fan-favorite song into a brand-ready jingle. General Mills snack brand Chex Mix in January enlisted Sir Mix-A-Lot to remix “Baby Got Back” as “Bagel Is Back," while Uber's Super Bowl spot revolved around Sean “Diddy” Combs and artists including Kelis and Montell Jordan remixing their songs to reference its subscription service. In a similar move, Frito-Lay's 2022 Super Bowl spot tapped Megan Thee Stallion for a reimagined version of Salt-N-Pepa’s “Push It.”
In collaborating with T-Pain, Wendy's taps into early-aughts nostalgia for a reinvigorated hitmaker who is no stranger to brand campaigns. Lipton Tea cast the rapper-singer as "Cousin T" in a similarly nostalgia-inspired effort, while Alka-Seltzer had T-Pain rework their “plop, plop, fizz, fizz” slogan as a song and dance challenge on TikTok.
Wendy's has long keyed in on culture to engage with younger, more elusive consumers, popularizing the sarcastic, combative tone that was popular with fast-food chains in the years before the pandemic. The chain has continued to tie-up with pop cultural phenomena, like Adult Swim favorite "Rick and Morty," and has experimented with emerging channels, including the metaverse and shoppable ads on connected TV.