Burger King Trolls Arch Rival McDonald’s Yet Again with a ‘Whopper Detour’

17 February, 2020 (Monday)

Through the years, Burger King’s campaigns have been bursting with witty, outside the box advertising and every so often,­­­ it has taken mischievous jabs at its competitor McDonald’s, which dominates the quick-service restaurant space.

Its recent ‘Whopper Detour’ campaign, a location specific mobile coupon stunt, bagged it the Grand Prix and six gold lions at the Cannes Lions.

Burger King partnered up with FCB New York to get customers to interact with not only their physical presence but also their digital presence. In a move that coupled inventive marketing with sheer technological brilliance, they used geo-location data to send push messages to people in the vicinity of a McDonald’s, inciting them to download their mobile app. The gimmick? —They get to treat themselves with a Whopper for mere cent if they’re within 600 feet of a McDonald’s location. The app leads customers to the nearest Burger King, brazenly steering them away from their arch rival.

The main challenge was to change the perception of the app from being ‘yet another food app’ to being an ‘intangible experience’ that sticks with people. This heavy dose of technology propelled over a million users to download their mobile app within just a few days of its run. The app was trending as the most popular app on both Google’s Play Store and Apple’s App Store for several days. They saw a threefold increase in their sales through the course of the campaign while the brand saw the highest number of store visits in the last four years.

Most millennials and Gen Zers are drawn in by ads that reflect their personal activities and locations. The campaign saw a surge in Burger King’s popularity on social media and news outlets. In a market cluttered with mainstream ads, the ‘Whopper Detour’ demonstrates how creative use of technology can entice people that are jaded by static print and TV spots. It engenders brand recall while driving tech-savvy customers away from the competition, quite literally.