Insights: 1) People are curious for new flavour combinations and willing to trample across brand conventions to experience them. 2) There’s no longer an inside / outside of a company – thanks to social media, corporations are now accountable for their actions.
Creative idea: Burger King made a highly visible proposal to McDonald’s, inviting them to collaborate on a truly one-of-a-kind product: The McWhopper. The proposed mash-up burger would combine key ingredients from each restaurant’s signature product, The Big Mac and The Whopper, to be prepared and served on one day only, United Nations Peace Day, 21st September 2015.
BK published an open letter in traditional and social, inviting McD’s to collaborate in creating and serving the McWhopper on Peace Day. The proposal was supported by tactical outdoor and spearheaded by mcwhopper.com, a multimedia toolkit of co-branded assets: staff apparel, signage, and a pop-up restaurant. Every asset was designed to be visually iconic and translate into multiple languages, for ease of share-ability. The proposal was met by frenzied public support, so McDonald’s drew criticism when they turned down the offer. Inspired by BK’s online Burger Build film, tens of thousands of people took matters into their own hands by creating and sharing do-it-yourself McWhoppers on social and mainstream media - integrating the competitor’s product with our own. Simultaneously, four other rival restaurants raised their hands for peace and together with BK created the historic ‘Peace Day Burger’, a symbolic mash-up available for one day only - Peace Day, 2015.
Describe the results in as much detail as possible.
- 8.9 billion media impressions
- Earned media value $US138m
- ROI: Every $1 spent on marketing the campaign returned $88 in earned media
- #1 trending topic, Facebook and Twitter
- 10,000+ DIY McWhopper reviews on YouTube
- +40% increase in Peace Day awareness (from 30% to 43% of the U.S pop)
- +16% increase in Peace Day awareness worldwide
“The McWhopper campaign is the single highest contributor ever towards Peace Day awareness” - McKinsey and Company – Research partner
Burger King brand metrics:
+75% Positive brand buzz (talkability) from 20% to 35% (60% millennials)
+25% Purchase consideration from 32% to 40% (+76% millennials)
+48% Likelihood to recommend brand: from 21% to 31% (+84% millennials)
Source: ABPR, Personally Inside, Llorente y Cuenca, Ketchurn, Evercom, Weber Shandwick, Emanate and Cison, Toluna Research, McKinsey and Company
McWhopper was a proposal designed from the outset to incite a response not only from McDonald’s, but more importantly the general public and mainstream media. It was executed across multiple channels, both traditional and new. We targeted McDonald’s with media channels in their own backyard – The Chicago Tribune (home to McD’s HQ) and billboards strategically placed opposite their restaurants. We targeted consumers and the media by making the proposal so public, so audacious, and so captivating, they couldn’t help but engage. Sure enough the strategy worked, as consumers around the world scrambled to create and share the McWhopper themselves.
The McWhopper campaign wasn’t made social, it was born social. We were confident that had we approached McDonald’s behind closed doors, they would have said no behind closed doors. So by making the proposal so very public (via two of the world’s most famous newspapers, various outdoor executions, a campaign microsite, and the leading social platforms), we knew McD’s would be more inclined to respond. Yet the proposal was so diligently planned, success did not hinge on a yes or a no - we created a comprehensive suite of campaign assets to inspire engagement no matter what. It was a completely integrated approach designed to empower the public and media to create and share do-it-yourself McWhoppers, further spreading awareness. It was all very well for the world to take notice, but BK wanted the world to take action.