Twitter unites to aid Carter 'Nugget Boy' Wilkerson


10 May 2017

Twitter, nuggets and an important lesson in social media marketing

Love should have aspirations; it should perform miracles, walk the extra mile and break an impossible Twitter record to let the world know how much one loves chicken nuggets.

16-year-old Carter Wilkerson broke Ellen DeGeneres's record in a bid to get a year's free supply of chicken nuggets from a US fast-food chain.

It all started with a challenge like all good stories do.


"Consider it done"

"Consider it done"

It started simple enough; when the now Internet legend from Nevada, USA tweeted the US fast-food chain casually asking how many retweets were needed to get a year's supply of chicken nuggets.

Social media spokesperson of Wendy's underestimated our hero and replied within a minute with the reply "18 million."

"Consider it done," said the high-school student and then all hell broke loose.


Social media gods come to aid

Carter posted the screenshot of the tweet exchange to rally Twitter with a war cry, "HELP ME PLEASE. A MAN NEEDS HIS NUGGS."

The plea got heard by the social media gods and Twitterati responded; within two days Carter garnered 1 million retweets but it was still a far cry from Ellen DeGeneres's Oscar selfie record of 3.2 million retweets.

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Now brands jump in the foray

Now brands jump in the foray

Things escalated further and industry behemoths such as Apple Music, Microsoft, Amazon, and Google joined in for the good cause; celebrities such as Breaking Bad star Aaron Paul also retweeted it.

Brand-jacking the hype, now infamous United Airlines also jumped in trying to get some positive PR by saying that they will fly Carter to a Wendy's outlet in any city they operated in.

Publicity stunts

Modern age social media PR stunts and gimmicks

This may have been an exceptional story but serves to show what an important role social media plays in brand building.

Wendy's may have replied to Carter just on a whim but what ensued later in Twitter was an immense PR boost for the firm, which would have cost millions if they had tried to reach that level of buzz on their own.


Unprecedented engagement and unconventional advertising

Unprecedented engagement and  unconventional advertising

Twitter took this example to boost their stance by writing to the shareholders, "Wendy's leveraged the unique conversation that happens only on Twitter into national prominence for their brand, creating a call for retweets that inspired unprecedented engagement."

Bizarre yet effective, this is how the modern day brand recall and engagement works, amassing massive response through a dish as ordinary as chicken nuggets.


The sweet aftermath

Carter may not have been able to get 18 million retweets but he did break Ellen DeGeneres's Oscar selfie retweet record.

In the end, Wendy's agreed to provide him with a year's worth of free nuggets and also made a $100,000 donation in Wilkerson's name, remarking "We didn't expect Carter's response, and we couldn't anticipate the overwhelming support he has received."

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