Wendy’s Adoption Stories

Storytelling in advertisements has recently become a popular trend for companies. This tactic helps customers remember the information better because it is told through narrative. Many companies use this method when they want support for their brand’s cause. A recent example of storytelling published to support a cause is “Wendy’s adoption stories”. The fast-food restaurant Wendy’s and the Dave Thomas Foundation For Adoption teamed up to make these stories. On Wendy’s website, four short videos are available to view. The series of videos are about adopted children that tell the story of their first family memory. These stories are real life stories told by the kids. One of the stories is about Rigo, age 16, whose first family memory was going to an amusement park for his first time when he was 12 years old. He says that this memory was the moment he realized he had a family that would be there for him for the rest of his life. (https://www.wendys.com/en-us/dtfa-videos#video-2)

At the end of the video a message comes up stating that contributors from Wendy’s and their customers have helped the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption find families for more than 4,500 foster children. This is the point where the viewer realizes what companies are behind the advertisement and who is sponsoring the foundation. These videos are not similar to other content within Wendy’s brand as far as ads go. This idea is new to them. As a fast food restaurant, their main goal is to advertise for their own product; the food. However, it is common for a large organization like Wendy’s to help humanitarian organizations and sponsor their causes. These adoption stories are unique because of the fact that the actual kids narrate and illustrate the ads. This makes the ads more personal and appealing to the viewer. They grab the viewer’s attention and cause an emotional reaction. Customers are able to realize how adopted children feel when they finally find a home. Since each ad is a different story, it adds diversity. Each ad is unique and the stories vary. Many fast food restaurants support some kind of philanthropic efforts including McDonald’s, Taco Bell, Chick-fil-A, and more. These different brands have their own partnerships and foundations to help and support but Wendy’s partnership with the Dave Thomas Foundation is exclusive. Dave Thomas, the founder Dave Thomas Foundation is also the founder of Wendy’s. Dave Thomas’s personal experience of being adopted made him want to raising awareness for the adoption system. Awareness for this system is badly needed. Improvement for the state of the adoption system is needed as well. Many people applaud the fact that Wendy’s is recently being more upfront about their philanthropy. They are making it a bigger deal and giving it more attention than they have in the past. Because they are now taking their campaign seriously and because it is for a very good cause, customers now look at Wendy’s in a better light. These ads are helping the growth of Wendy’s as a restaurant.

Other organizations can learn from Wendy’s in a couple ways. A lot of fast food restaurants leave a donation canister in front of the cash registers, however it takes more than that to really get the message out there. Because media in today’s society is the main way people communicate and learn new information, the storytelling ads are the best way to connect with customers. Dave Thomas started this foundation in 2002, but it wasn’t until recently that Wendy’s started using their cause as the main focal point of their advertisements. Making the philanthropy well known from the start helps bring more attention to the foundation, and it makes customers want to support not only the cause but also the restaurant itself.