Carter Wilkerson is hardly a household name. Yet Wilkerson has now set the record for the most retweeted message of all time. He’s beaten the former champ, Ellen DeGeneres, and smoked the wanna-be champ, Donald Trump. And he did it all in the name of chicken nuggets. From Wendy’s.
Wilkerson’s actual goal was free chicken nuggets for a year. He asked how many retweets he’d need to earn that honor, and Wendy’s obligingly answered: 18 million.
— Wendy's (@Wendys) May 9, 2017
While Wilkerson hasn’t gotten there, he has beaten the record. He picked up 3.4 million retweets in just over a month. Wendy’s, a company with a marketing team that knows a good deal when they see one, have decided to honor Wilkerson’s efforts and award him the nuggets, even though he’s 14.6 million tweets short of his goal.
And why not. We’re writing the story up. Countless others have seized on this odd tale. Millions more will read these tweets off twitter, and Wendy’s just has to cook up a few more nuggets. This is pure viral marketing gold.
Wendy’s isn’t alone, either. Other brands are trying to jump on the Wilkerson band wagon. Apple Music, Google, Microsoft, T-Mobile, even Ellen DeGeneres. Twitter has made a hashtag and an emoji just for Wilkerson’s nugget quest.
Nugget boy is here today. You know what they say… keep your friends close and your Twitter competition closer. pic.twitter.com/PA9Vfu2tY3
— Ellen DeGeneres (@TheEllenShow) April 18, 2017
Ellen, seeing her record was in jeopardy, invited Wilkerson onto her show in mid-April. She promised a special prize for Wilkerson if he got to 18, but urged all of her viewers to retweet her tweets, too, so she would still hold the record. It didn’t work.
And before you assume that all of this is just so much trivial bovine excrement, consider this. Wendy’s has announced that it will donate $100,000 to The Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption. Perhaps all of the orphans will get free nuggets for a year, too.
As for the marketing team, this is just the latest win. Wendy’s own twitter account has been turning heads for months with their brutal responses to provocations from fans and haters alike. Here are some of the better responses.