ONE NZ Warriors take to the kitchen in Wendy’s Warriors Baconator campaign via MetroEXP

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It’s not easy being cheesy, but One New Zealand Warriors players Ali Leiataua, Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad and Marcelo Montoya weren’t afraid to ham it up for the launch of Wendy’s new Warriors Baconator burger in a new campaign developed by Auckland indie agency MetroEXP.


Launching this week, the new campaign sees the talented threesome take to the kitchen, tossing around tongue-in-cheek names for the burger range like the ‘it ain’t easy being cheesy’ and the ‘spice spice baby’, before landing on ‘The Warriors Baconator’ as a moniker.

In store now and for a limited-time, the new Warriors Baconator burger features mushrooms in buffalo cheese sauce and a spicy buffalo drizzle, along with Wendy’s signature Manuka smoked bacon, American cheese, creamy mayo and a choice of two fresh New Zealand beef patties or two generous crispy chicken fillets. Also in the range are loaded fries topped with mushrooms in buffalo cheese sauce, bacon bits and more of that spicy buffalo drizzle.

Produced by Eyes & Ears, the campaign is currently airing on TVNZ, SKY TV, Warner Brothers Discovery and on social.

Wendy’s NZ CEO Danielle Lendich said the team really enjoyed working with the club on bringing the project to life: “It’s always a pleasure working with the players, but Ali, Charnze and Marcelo were something else and proved themselves to be just as talented off the field as on.”

MetroEXP business partner, Kimberley Warren, said the agency is always thrilled to be part of the Wendy’s-Warriors partnership – “where every collaboration is a recipe for success.”

While MetroEXP creative director, Matt Watts, said it was great to have the players involved in creating the new Baconator: “We came to the shoot armed with a bunch of names, but the funniest ones came from the boys themselves off-the-cuff. I wish I was as good at league as they are at advertising.”

ONE NZ Warriors take to the kitchen in Wendy’s Warriors Baconator campaign via MetroEXP

A relationship that began in 2008 and progressed to being an on-kit sponsor in 2011, Wendy’s has promoted its involvement with the Warriors over the years through limited-edition burgers, in-store promotions and several entertaining TV ads featuring selected players.

One NZ Warriors CEO Cameron George said the ties between the club and Wendy’s ran deep and the burger chain was a much-valued member of the team’s sponsor family: “We appreciate the way Wendy’s has gone about its partnership over the years, incorporating our players into its product and campaigns. The boys certainly enjoy it and will no doubt be looking forward to their burgers this Sunday after the game.”

Staunch supporters for more than 16 years, Wendy’s NZ CEO Danielle Lendich said the burger chain loved being part of the One NZ Warriors family: “The players are great fun and always a pleasure to deal with. They are always excited to be part of a Wendy’s campaign, as are the coaches and Cameron and his team.  It is great to have a partnership with both parties so supportive of each other.”

ONE NZ Warriors take to the kitchen in Wendy’s Warriors Baconator campaign via MetroEXP

Wendy’s NZ CEO New Zealand: Danielle Lendich
Wendy’s NZ Marketing Support: Phoebe Rey Subritzky

One New Zealand Warriors Partnership Manager: Natasha Eady

Agency: MetroEXP
Creative Directors: Matt Watts, Sarah Chernishov
Business Partner: Nick Maltby
Business Director: Kimberley Warren

Production Company: Eyes & Ears
Director & Editor: Lee Stapleton
Producer: Holly Pollock, Paige Taniora
Production Manager: Jazzmin Heaven
DOP: Daryl Wong
Gaffer: Kyle Van Tonder
Sound Recordist: Joey Siasoco
Art Director: Hayley Roberston
Sound Mix: Radiate Studios