The best ad of 4/20? Wingstop’s corporate training video for serving high customers

The comedy is played straight and the customers high as a kite in VaynerMedia’s new spot for the American chain of restaurants.

21 April 2023


There’s nothing worse than brands aligning themselves to 4/20 to assure us they are not like a regular mom; they are a cool mom. Wingstop has avoided the standard nudge-nudge of 4/20 comms with its latest ad. The restaurant chain partners with VaynerMedia to create a training video for employees, offering advice on how to deal with customers who have partaken, or “par-toke-n”, in 4/20 festivities, as the spot explains – that part is really good.

VaynerMedia has taken inspiration from old corporate training videos; the VHS ones that get dusted off and wheeled out for new starters. Malcolm Hempstead, “Director of Highspitality at Wingstop Restaurants Inc.”, talks us through the kinds of customers you might encounter during 4/20, with some common situations acted out on screen. For example, when faced with a customer overwhelmed by menu options, the training advises following up with a gentle recommendation to ease service along, and so on.

The video concludes with the do’s and don’ts of service – “Do: Maintain a chill, hip, professional vibe; Don’t: Harsh anyone’s mellow”. The spot coincides with the release of the Wingstop Hot Box, a promotional meal available for a limited time from 20 April to 23 April, pointed to throughout the training video.

As the cannabis market in the US predicts further growth, 4/20 is transforming from a relatively niche date in the calendar, albeit with a cult stoner following, into prime time for marketing, with brands like Bic taking part this year. In a recent interview with Eddie Opara, we talk through the pitfalls designers and brands should consider when working within the bustling but imbalanced market.

GalleryVaynerMedia: Wingstop 4/20 Training Video (Copyright © Wingstop Restaurants, 2023)

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VaynerMedia: Wingstop 4/20 Training Video (Copyright © Wingstop Restaurants, 2023)

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About the Author

Liz Gorny

Liz (she/they) joined It’s Nice That as news writer in December 2021. After graduating in Film from The University of Bristol, they worked freelance, writing for independent publications such as Little White Lies, INDIE magazine and design studio Evermade.

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