The white flag is up (or is that a napkin?), Burger King wants a truce with McDonald’s.
In honour of Peace Day on 21st September, BK have proposed a ceasefire of their ‘burger wars’ – and cooked up (not literally, not quite yet) the ‘McWhopper’. Consisting of a meaty mash-up of Burger King’s Whopper and a McDonald’s Big Mac, the ‘Unthinkable’ sandwich has made its web debut with a fully realised marketing campaign.
Through a responsive website (the aptly named mcwhopper.com) BK have detailed their peace-promoting plan in a sterling demonstration of web design – the burger builds as you scroll, in a colourful BK brand-centric display. The funky, moving graphics are frankly mouth-watering and it seems the BK marketing team must really know their stuff.
And it doesn’t end there. With #McWhopper trending all over social media, the ultimate imaginary burger has got the whole world talking. The proposal also featured in the press, with full page ads in The New York Times and Chicago Tribune, just in case anyone forgot their smartphone that day. Whether sincere, or simply a PR stunt, the campaign has been perfectly executed.
As for the McWhopper itself? Alas, it seems it’s not meant to be. Through a snippy Facebook post, McDonald’s shot Burger King (and burger-lovers everywhere) down. With this response, the chain appear to have major beef, chastising BK for trivialising war (they didn’t really) and suffering what seems to be a disastrous public sense-of-humour bypass.
McDonald’s have been criticised for their peace-party-pooping, with fans left disappointed by their public put-down. In fact, the online rejection has been labelled ‘passive-aggressive’ and as a ‘typically lousy McDonald’s response’ by internet users, seemingly having a pretty damning effect on the brands’ reputation. All is not lost, with McD’s cryptic ‘We’ll be in touch’ – but in the meantime, it seems Ronald McDonald might have some major damage control to do.
Regardless of whether you’re team Clown or Crown, the ball is now in McDonald’s court – with burger-fans worldwide waiting for a ‘real’ reply. Although with their very public put-down of such a light-hearted (although not low-fat) idea, it seems McDonald’s might have missed the memo on marketing in 2015.
What are your opinions on the McWhopper debate? Tweet them to @K2LMarketing