Everybody loves a holiday and for the team at Wetzel’s Pretzels, National Pretzel Day on April 26th seemed like a holiday worth celebrating to drive sales, traffic and brand awareness. But success was no sure thing. Canvas Blue was challenged to maximize this invented holiday by securing participation at 300 Wetzel’s stores and to break through the clutter with numerous other pretzel players seeking to dominate the day’s news.
The solution was simple: Canvas Blue rebranded National Pretzel Day as National Wetzel Day. Using free pretzels at all locations as enticement, Canvas Blue connected with hundreds of fans on social media with the last name “Wetzel” and invited them to their local Wetzel’s location; a playful take on a family reunion. Anyone without the last name Wetzel could become one for a day! Simply by introducing themselves at the register as (first name) Wetzel, guests became Wetzel VIPs for the day and were treated to a free pretzel. This underscored the brand’s playful spirit of taking pretzels seriously, but not themselves.
The results were significant, with consumers embracing the name Wetzel and flocking to Wetzel’s Pretzels. National outlets, such as Time Magazine, covered National Wetzel Day, with earned coverage syndicating to online media sites across the country. Most importantly, Wetzel’s franchisees lauded the activation, some seeing growth of more than 50 percent over the same day’s sales the previous week, and all looking forward to National Wetzel Day in years to come.