Whataburger Inc. all day Friday will be celebrating the 30th anniversary of its popular ketchup cups by rewarding select Twitter followers throughout the day with artist-drawn portraits of their avatars.
And in this case, the medium IS the message.
The San Antonio-based burger brand is having an Austin-based artist draw the portraits not in oils or acrylics but in Whataburger’s own Fancy Ketchup. My portrait, done Thursday, appears at right, and the condiment enhances the hungry look in my eyes.
To participate, Twitter fans need to tweet @Whataburger with the hashtag #FancySKETCHUP. Whataburger will select avatar models throughout the day, live-tweeting the process and sharing the sketches on social-media platforms.
Pam Cox, Whataburger’s vice president of communications, said in a statement that “our fans’ love for Whataburger Fancy Ketchup is pretty amazing, so we wanted to do something really fun to celebrate the 30th anniversary of our ketchup tubs.
“We’re excited for the opportunity to bring our loyal fans together to celebrate this milestone,” Cox said, “and we look forward to turning one of our most popular products into a unique, artistic social-media experience.”
Whataburger was an earlier creator of the one-ounce ketchup cups, debuting them in 1985. Other manufacturers introduced similar cups in 2011 and made “dip and squeeze” packets more broadly available. Chick-fil-A Inc., for example, offers them.
But Whataburger was a ketchup-cup pioneer and has built a highly engaged condiment fan base, which has spilled over into social media. Whataburger Ketchup even has its own Facebook page with more than 20,000 fans and testimonials that claim it’s “the ketchup of the gods.”
Whataburger on Thursday evening ranked No. 15 on the Nation’s Restaurant News Social 200.