When it comes to corporate rivalries, there are none more ferocious than Burger King and McDonald’s.
The King versus the Clown. The Big Mac versus The Whopper. Who makes the better fries?
So imagine my surprise when I saw a marketing campaign recently from Burger King, which contained a whopper of an idea (pun intended!).
Titled ‘A Day Without Whopper’, it encouraged people to go to its mortal competitor, McDonald’s, by stating that for one day no Whoppers would be sold. Why would a brand do that? Had they lost their mind?
It turned out that McDonald’s was running a campaign whereby for every Big Mac they sold, money would be donated to Children with Cancer. A noble cause.
It was an even nobler cause that Burger King would sacrifice business and revenue, giving it to its competitor. But let’s be honest, Burger King had another reason, seeing the chance to boost its morally good reputation, along with its exposure.
The Burger King campaign had people talking on social media, with compliments coming thick and fast. Being associated with a good cause was good for Burger King.
Last week @burgerking launched a genius viral campaign – #daywithoutwhopper 🍔 For one day they opted out of selling their signature product and asked customers to go to mcdonalds , where sales of The #BigMac were… //t.co/OHG0GIKYHV— Lacy Maxwell Experiential (@LacyMaxwellExp) September 30, 2019
Burger King put their biggest seller aside for a day to support McDonalds’, Children with Cancer initiative. Two competing rivals, coming together to fight something more important than their bottom line. #daywithoutwhopper #ChildrenWithCancer//t.co/tRS2ii6PYh— KAT Marketing (@KATKrew) October 3, 2019
Wow! This is such a beautiful & meaningful gesture by Burger King to help McDonalds with their fundraising campaign of donating money to Children with Cancer for every Big Mac that they sell#CSR #Cancer #Fundraising #BurgerKing #McDonald #Competitor #DayWithoutWhopper #Respect pic.twitter.com/3lfkRXsDXl— Vishal Kamath (@Vishal_Kamath) September 27, 2019
The #daywithoutwhopper of two rival businesses working together for a beneficial goal is beautiful to see. Hopefully we can see more of it in the future— Emmanuel Cureton (@1stefrankin1) September 29, 2019
But as one person pointed out, if you’re standing in a Burger King and are then told that no Whoppers are being sold today, would you get in your car and drive to McDonald’s, or would you order something else off the menu? Probably the latter. It was also a chance for Burger King to showcase its other menu offerings.
So while people having to make a choice for lunch who saw the post would probably head to McDonald’s over Burger King, it was only those customers that were affected for Burger King. But at the end of the day, in my opinion, the King reigned supreme over the Clown. People love brands that are associated with causes, and Burger King’s move positioned it in the hearts and minds of consumers.
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