Not selling whoppers to help McDonald's cause: Is it a king-sized win for Burger King?

Burger King has been winning the internet and hearts of people for the gesture. Will this applause add value to the brand?

e4m by Nafisa Shaheen
Updated: Sep 27, 2019 9:19 AM



Burger King has been winning the internet and hearts of people for a hearty and spirited gesture it did recently. The fast food chain did not sell whoppers in Argentina for an entire day to divert burger craving customers to McDonald's instead, so that the latter could raise more money for children fighting cancer. McDonald's had pledged all sales for that day towards the fund, and Burger King did their bit to ensure the initiative was a success.

So, will this much applauded approach add value to the brand? We spoke to brands and experts to know their take on Burger King’s move.

According to Shourya Ray Chaudhuri, Managing Partner & Creative Head, Tonic Worldwide, “This is a king-sized win for Burger King. Instead of latching on to silly trends with little to no brand benefit, 'moment marketing' exercises such as this go a long way in winning hearts, wallets and smiles. Not to mention the feel-good factor of it all. A win-win for everyone involved.”

Though this happened in Argentina, the social media was whooping with tweets, likes, comments and shares all over the world. This is not the first time that competitors have joined hands to support each other’s cause. History is full of examples like these, with the recent one being Uber Eats taking a stand for Zomato over the #BoycottZomato campaign.

Kiran Khalap, Kiran Khalap, Co-founder & Managing Director of Chlorophyll, applauded Marcelo Pascoa, Global Marketing Head of Burger King for the warm step. “He is one of the bravest marketers on the planet. I guess this kind of hard-hitting marketing tactics is encouraged by him. A day's loss of revenue is worth it for gaining admiration of millions. He reminded of the US brand REI that shut down on Black Friday in order to encourage Americans to go outdoor, which sits at the core of REI,” shares Khalap.

“It is both a good gesture as well as timing marketing. It also takes some courage for a brand to piggyback on its competition's initiative. At the end of the day, Burger King is getting all the claps and attention, more than McDonald,” believes Tinu Cherian, Marketing and PR professional.

Speakign on the same lines, Sanil Jain, Co-founder of CupShup, says, "Images of Burger King and McDonalds shaking hands is winning hearts  In today’s world, where trolling the competitor on Twitter and putting hoardings taking potshot at each other is considered cool, this is like a breath of fresh air. But what is remarkable to come out of this is whopper. It has caught the fancy of me and people like me who are not a big fast food fan and so far haven’t even heard of whopper. It is intriguing to me that people will not flock to Burger King because whopper is not available! What does whopper look like? How does it taste ? In one stroke, Burger King, with this moment marketing masterstroke, made me research that whopper is a signature dish of Burger King. Thus, next time I see a whopper, I am gonna grab a bite. What a whopper of a campaign!"

While most see it as a great move on part of Burger King, there are contrary viewpoints as well.

According to strategic brand consultant Dimple Gupta, it is “kind of cheeky” move by Burger King.

“I somehow do not see a healthy vision from BK or their intention to donate clean. They want people to crave whopper in a side twisted ironical way,” feels Gupta.

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