#CMweekly: Wendy’s Treat It Forward

Company: Wendy’s
Cause: Youth
Partners: Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption
Website: http://treatitforward.wendys.com

Program of Action
For the sixth consecutive year, Wendy’s launches its Treat It Forward campaign in an effort to help the 107,000 children in foster care find their forever homes. During Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, and National Adoption Day weekends, Wendy’s will donate 50 cents, up to $50,000, to Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption for each Treat It Forward action. Actions include check-in’s through smartphones, retweets on Twitter, or selected product purchases at your local Wendy’s.

Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption promotes foster care awareness with the goal to increase the number of adoptions of children from North America’s foster care systems. Wendy’s and Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption have been in partnership together for over five years with successful results. Through the Treat It Forward campaign, Wendy’s hopes to raise $1.6 million this year for the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption.

Best Practices
Treat It Forward may have just ended this past Father’s Day, but the amount of success the program has seen in the last five years makes this campaign worthy of highlighting for two reasons:

1. Unique cause/brand alignment

2. Catering to 2012 social elements

Wendy’s as a brand and the cause of adoption are not obviously linked. However, the connection is more obvious when you consider that Wendy’s founder Dave Thomas had a passion for foster care adoption and in turn created the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption. This relationship makes the Wendy’s corporation a powerful ally for a cause that does not receive a lot of attention from other major cause marketing campaigns. The six-year partnership displays the company’s commitment and loyalty to supporting the cause, which produce positive results for all parties involved.

Secondly, with the rise in social media and smartphones in the market, Wendy’s catered to the popular trends occurring in society. In targeting the thousands of people who engage in social media or use smartphones and frequent the fast food restaurant, Wendy’s links a popular practice and brand to an important cause. In fact, Wendy’s was the number one most retweeted tweets in 2011, according to Huffington Post.

Though, we are unaware of the response Wendy’s brought in through check-ins, perhaps a mobile app or QR codes could be an addition to attract more consumers to complete Treat It Forward actions.

Program Outcome
The Treat It Forward campaign has raised $8 million since 2007. Additionally, children referred in the program are three times more likely to be adopted. Though the program is not currently accepting donations, make sure to keep your eyes open for National Adoption Day in November. That will be the next weekend Wendy’s will launch Treat It Forward once again!

Your CM Aficionado,


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s