If there’s one thing Americans love more than fast food, it’s a determined underdog facing off against the big corporations that shovel it down our throats. Hence the drama currently surrounding Nevada teenager Carter Wilkerson, a kid with a simple desire: Score a year’s free supply of Wendy’s chicken nuggets. Prostrating himself before the Frosty queen, Wilkerson asked the company’s corporate Twitter account how many retweets he’d need to secure to obtain his breaded prize. Like the cruel Greek gods tormenting brave Hercules, though, the company’s social media account tasked Wilkerson with a seemingly impossible quota: 18 million, a.k.a six times more than any tweet, ever.
But say what you like about internet activism: When it comes to causes that require little more than a chuckle, a click, and a willingness to install yourself as a cog in the great viral marketing machine, they can come through. Carter’s call for nugg help currently has 1.6 million retweets, almost 10 percent of the way to his goal. Of course, there are only about 320 million active Twitter users total, and a large number of them are either international or prefer McDonald’s, so Carter’s goal might be essentially impossible. But despite calls for some kind of negotiation, Wendy’s (whose marketing team has been praised lately for having one of the more legitimately funny and human-sounding corporate accounts) has been resolute in its decree, expressing confidence that Carter can get his nuggs.
Meanwhile, Carter is slowly accruing big-name endorsements for his quest, with Amazon, Microsoft, and Breaking Bad star Aaron Paul all working to help him get to the coveted 18 million doses of sweet viral marketing sweetness.