Wendy’s Takes on McDonald’s With a Big Nod to Its Past

Wendy’s embraces the past and a current major sporting event to promote it’s burgers.

March Madness is upon us with basketball stars past and present out there making cameos in conjunction with the annual NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament. 

Reggie Miller has been around for a couple of decades on and off the court. The former NBA player’s career spanned almost two decades all with the Indiana Pacers starting from 1987 until 2005. Prior to his NBA career, Miller played basketball for UCLA from 1983 until 1987. Since his retirement he has been making curtain calls but not on the court. He’s now promoting what appears to be his favorite fast-food restaurant.

While he’s no longer scoring points, Miller has made a point to let fans know that he likes the food at Wendy’s  (WEN) – Get Free Report so much he’ll even move in, as he did in a previous commercial. If you start your day at Wendy’s, you won’t miss the breakfast served up at the fast-food restaurant. 

One thing that sets Wendy’s apart from other fast-food burger chains is that it makes a point to purposefully put its meat into squares. Founder Dave Thomas said making the fresh-never frozen hamburger into squares shows its customers the meat instead of it being hidden between two big hamburger buns.

Image source: Katherine Frey/The The Washington Post via Getty

Wendy’s Where’s The Beef?

Wendy’s commercial tag line from its iconic 1984 commercial featuring three ladies looking at presumably a burger like competitor McDonald’s, shows two giant hamburger buns, and when they take the top bun off, it shows a tiny hamburger patty. One lady, Clara Peller, then says, “Where’s the beef!” That line became iconic with the Wendy’s brand since the beef is square you can always see its corners, per Dave Thomas’s wish to always show his customers right where the meat is and how fresh and tasty it is. That tag line went on to be used in numerous commercials for the fast-food burger chain. 

The new Wendy’s commercial brings back not only Reggie Miller for its comeback commercial for its March Madness, but the new commercial references its old tag line, “Where’s the beef.” Now hoping perhaps to dub a new tag line, Miller says, “Squares the beef.” Clearly using the old tag line and playing on that rhyming between the two words, ‘where and square,’ but using it to suggest square meat is better. The new commercial is comical in its delivery of fast-food staff and Miller cheering and throwing out taunting gestures while at the fast-food restaurant. It’s clearly all about the hype of the basketball tournament. 

“This March Madness, it’s all about our iconic square beef hamburgers. We know the star player of a great-tasting hamburger is fresh never frozen beef, so we’re squaring up our March Madness campaign to bring our unique, fresh and hot take on beef to life for fans as the Official Hamburger of the tournament,” shared the Wendy’s US Chief Marketing Officer, Carl Loredo with The Drum. “Our ’Square’s the Beef’ advertising [nods] to our heritage of serving up the best fresh never frozen square beef in the game. Asking more of your hamburger and turning to Wendy’s to deliver is a slam dunk, every time.”

Wendy’s and Miller Teamed Up 

In the past when Reggie Miller and Wendy’s teamed up, Miller was telling everyone about Wendy’s breakfast menu and Wendy’s announced that Wendy’s breakfast was an official sponsor of the NCAA Basketball Tournament. 

This time around, it may just be all about the hype. Miller nor Wendy’s announced anything new about the menu, or sponsorships, just that the menu is so great. Miller is celebrating everything being served up at the fast-food restaurant. The commercial has the former NBA star and Wendy’s cheering and doing dances to celebrate, but they aren’t celebrating anything new, just celebrating. So, this March Wendy’s is about celebrating the hype that is March Madness, but not actually bringing anything new to the menu or its customers. 

Wendy’s is listed as an official NCAA Corporate Partner per the NCAA’s website. However, it wasn’t mentioned in the new commercial that it is the only fast-food burger chain that is a partner with the NCAA this year. 

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