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How Burger King Turned World Peace Day into a Cheesy Marketing Ploy

by Jennifer Beever on August 28, 2015

Burger King Cheeseburger 4A recent marketing stunt by Burger King reinforced what works in marketing today: value-add and transparent content, NOT opportunistic gimmicks.

This week Burger King ran ads challenging McDonalds to a McWhopper event on World Peace Day. They suggested that the two brands collaborate and create a McWhoppper sandwich, putting an end to their “war.”

Burger King packaging

They even proposed that they create a store in Atlanta to feature the new sandwich.

Burger King McWhopper Store

I love how McDonald’s replied to the ads:

“…every day, let’s acknowledge that between us there is simply a friendly business competition and certainly not the unequaled circumstances of the real pain and suffering of war,”

Read more about the campaign in this AdAge article.

I don’t have anything against Burger King or for McDonalds (although I did blog about a great, transparent campaign by McDonald’s in Canada). I’m not much of a fast food person.

But, I do believe in transparent, real marketing.

I am against big brands (and little brands) taking advantage of a day of the year designated by the United Nations to foster peace!

What was Burger King thinking? I have no idea (“Wow, we are so creative?”), but what they were NOT thinking is that people today don’t like brands taking positive or negative news or events and turning them into cheesy marketing opportunities. They also do not seem to be aware that millennials especially don’t like cheesy marketing – they see right through attempts to be artificially funny, cool, or attempts that try to newsjack something beautiful like Peace Day.

To me, this campaign is a good example of what NOT to do in marketing, whether it’s B2C or B2B. Marketers, when you plan your marketing content and campaigns, make sure to test the concepts. Ask some questions:

“Is this campaign good for people everywhere?”

“Is it possible people will be offended or turned off by our campaign?”

“Are we being opportunistic; turning a news item or event into a brand opportunity?”

“Are we adding value and being transparent about our products and company?”

If you are interested in creating a marketing plan that includes transparent, value-add content and campaigns, contact New Incite today. We’ve worked with hundreds of small and large brands to create authentic marketing that gets results.

Photo by Razor512 on Flickr. Some Rights Reserved.

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