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Rooty and the Polarizing Pants Post

Entered in Single Post or Activation


Who would get upset about pants on a Root Bear? Turns out, a lot of people.  

Following M&M’s “decision” to retire their spokescandies, A&W Restaurants decided to join the online conversation with our own un-bear-able announcement: beloved mascot Rooty the Great Root Bear would now be wearing jeans. 


Less than 24 hours after the M&M’s announcement, A&W went live with a riff on the post. Mimicking the design of the original image and the copy used, we added some paw-sitively perfect bear puns to drive home the humor. 


The post took on a life of its own when Fox Business, failing to recognize the parody, reported the story as true. Soon after, “Rooty” began trending on Twitter/X as the conversation shifted to one about satire, faux outrage, and the importance of fact-checking. Other bear mascots like Cocaine Bear, Tony the Tiger, and Smokey Bear even weighed in on the controversy.

The post became our most popular ever on the platform — all completely organic — achieving:  

Outside of the incredible results on Twitter/X, the post received national media coverage from CBS News, HuffPost, AVClub, and more. We also saw a 50% increase in website traffic in the days following the post going viral. 


Entrant Company / Organization Name

A&W Restaurants, Inc.


Entry Credits