Behind Burger King’s Epic Trolling of McDonalds With One-Cent Whopper Deal

Behind Burger King’s Epic Trolling of McDonalds With One-Cent Whopper Deal
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Burger King’s Global Chief Marketing Officer Fernando Machado and Head of Global Marketing Marcelo Pascoe took to the stage at Cannes Lions this afternoon with an entertaining presentation on how the brand continues to reinvent itself through design, technology and product innovation.

One of the campaigns predicted to do well this week is Burger King’s “Whopper Detour” created by FCB New York.

In the campaign, the burger chain pushed people to download its app (or use it) by offering a one-cent Whopper. The only catch was that customers had to place the order on the app while they were inside or nearby a McDonald’s. The app then directed them to the nearest Burger King to redeem the offer.

The story went nuts on the news networks generating 3.5 billion impressions.

The campaign saw the Burger King app go from number 686 to number one in 48 hours with a total of 1.5 million downloads in nine days.

Mobile sales tripled during the promotion and have doubled ever since. Burger King saw the highest number of store visits in four years.

Marcelo Pascoe, Burger King’s head of global marketing, explained that mobile order and pay is now offered by almost all fast food restaurants so the problem they faced was standing out and driving preference.

He said that you could look at the campaign and think that the fact that they were giving away Whoppers for one cent was the driving success behind the campaign. But it wasn’t.

Pascoe explained that they had trialled other campaigns where they gave the Whopper away for free if they download the app. But no one did. The success lay in the fun of it.

Whopper Detour

Together with Burger King’s global CMO Fernando Machado, Pascoe shared their five final tips for marketers to survive what they called the “Adpocalypse”: the end of traditional advertising.

5 final tips to survive

  1. Design your way out. Look at the things that you already have, the things that don’t cost anything because you already have them. Good design isn’t more expensive than bad design, it’s just better.
  2. Doing is better than saying. We spend a lot of time talking but experience has the power of changing a random consumer into a loyal fan. You might not remember watching a zombie film but if that zombie is in the real world and bites your head off, you’ll remember it!
  3. There are new monsters, new weapons. Technology is not the enemy. It’s what makes the impossible possible.
  4. Love your product. If you don’t love your product, change the fucking product. Be the change that you want to see around you.
  5. Get out! If you stay in the same place long enough, the zombies will find you. If we spent half the time that we spent whining about how difficult our jobs are and put this energy into new ideas that get us excited, we’d be a lot better off!

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