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 held accountable for their actions.
Creative idea: To raise awareness of United Nations Peace Day, 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, 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.
- 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 an audacious proposal designed from the outset to incite a response not only from McDonald’s, but more importantly the public and mainstream media. It harnessed the gravitas of high-profile media placements, with the express purpose of igniting debate. All executions pointed to mcwhopper.com, a social and media toolkit that hosted a comprehensive suite of shareable assets, engineered so that no matter how McDonald’s responded, consumers would be inspired and empowered to take matters into their own hands. Sure enough, the campaign created a frenzy of conversation and the creation of ‘do-it-yourself’ McWhoppers became an online phenomenon.
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. By making the proposal so very public on so many platforms, we knew McD’s would be pushed to respond. The proposal was planned with painstaking diligence, to ensure success didn’t hinge on a yes or a no. We invested a significant amount of time and resource into scenario planning, resulting in an extensive set of responses to cater for every conceivable scenario. More importantly, we created a comprehensive suite of campaign assets to inspire consumer 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 we also wanted the world to take action.