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The Whopper Detour

The Whopper Detour | Burger King | FCB
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basics
Industry: Food
Media:Cyber
Style: Minimalism
descriptioncnen
Why is this work relevant for Brand Experience & Activation?

Burger King is a brand known for a history of trolling the competition in mischievous ways, but with The Whopper Detour, this was the first time that they didn’t just troll McDonald’s, they invited people to join in on the fun. And this engaging activation got an overwhelming response, because of it. In the end, this wasn’t just a popular, massive PR explosion, it was a creative idea that produced record-breaking results that will transform BK’s business for years to come.

Background

In 2015, only 11% of fast-food consumers placed an order using a mobile app, compared to nearly 40% in 2018. And by 2020, mobile ordering is poised to generate $38 billion in sales.

Realizing the need to fully capitalize on this, and being late to the game vs. the rest of the category, Burger King overhauled its mobile app to offer order-ahead functionality.

Being last to the party, Burger King had to do something radical to garner attention, engage consumers, and give them a reason to download the BK App.

Describe the creative idea (20% of vote)

McDonald’s outnumbers BK restaurants 2-to-1 in the U.S. So, in the spirit of Burger King’s challenger mentality, we didn’t just do a promo. Nor did we simply troll McDonald’s. We turned our biggest competitor’s advantage into our own, by turning their restaurants into touchpoints of OUR campaign, inviting consumers to order a 1-cent Whopper that could only be ordered “at” McDonald’s through the new BK App.

To do this, we geofenced 14,000 McDonald’s stores nationwide. If a user was within 600 ft. of a McDonald’s, the BK App unlocked the promotion, and once the order was placed, the app then navigated them to the nearest BK for pickup. It was a mind twist that had to be perfectly executed to keep the user experience seamless so that consumers could join in on the fun.

Describe the strategy (20% of vote)

Millennials and Gen Z grew up with tech, so getting real estate on their phones is key for Burger King’s long-term strategy. We know they don’t watch linear TV and are skeptical of marketing. They don’t visit BK restaurants as often as their parents, nor do they think BK is particularly “cool.” They seek experiences and brands that are real and authentic –– something the QSR industry is battling as a whole. It was imperative for us to bring our target in as part of the promo activation –– tapping into the social nature of trolling and gamifying the redemption experience, by simultaneously tapping into burger culture and the subversive nature of secret menus and the like.

Describe the execution (30% of vote)

The Whopper Detour was a 9-day mobile app promotion by Burger King, running
12/04/18 to 12/12/18. The offer was available nationwide in the U.S. (not valid in Alaska and Hawaii) at participating BK restaurants and it unlocked at over 14,000 geofenced McDonald’s restaurants.

We primarily leveraged social media (Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram); targeted digital display through Foursquare and Waze; and high-impact traditional placements with guerrilla OOH and a New York Post full-page print ad.

List the results (30% of vote)

During the 9-day promotion, Whopper Detour garnered 3.5 billion impressions, an 818% increase in Twitter mentions for the brand, and $40 million in earned media. The app was downloaded 1.5 million times and ranked #1 on both iOS and Google Play app stores for several days, beating out the likes of Facebook, Amazon, YouTube, and Instagram. The PR success translated into business results: Burger King saw the highest foot traffic in over 4 years, tripling mobile sales during the promo, and generating results 40x bigger than BK’s historical digital promo record. The Whopper Detour will pay dividends for years to come, growing the mobile customer base by 33%, giving BK invaluable new data and an increase of $15 million in projected sales for the following year. The Whopper Detour has also led to double the app sales ever since the promotion, with an ROI of 37:1.
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awards
Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity 2019
Grand Prix Direct
Retail
Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity 2019
Grand Prix Mobile
Activation by Location
Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity 2019
Titanium Titanium
Titanium
Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity 2019
Gold Direct
Use of Mobile
Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity 2019
Gold Direct
Challenger Brand
Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity 2019
Gold Media
Retail
Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity 2019
Gold Media
Use of Mobile
Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity 2019
Gold Mobile
Excellence in Mobile Campaign & Messaging
Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity 2019
Silver Brand Experience & Activation
Retail Promotions & Competitions
Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity 2019
Silver Creative eCommerce
Retail Promotions & In-store Integration
Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity 2019
Silver Direct
Data-driven Targeting
Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity 2019
Bronze Brand Experience & Activation
Use of Mobile
Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity 2019
Shortlist Brand Experience & Activation
Retail
Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity 2019
Shortlist Brand Experience & Activation
Challenger Brand
Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity 2019
Shortlist Creative eCommerce
Retail
Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity 2019
Shortlist Media
Use of Real-time Data
Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity 2019
Shortlist Media
Challenger Brand
Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity 2019
Shortlist Mobile
Data / Insight
Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity 2019
Shortlist Mobile
Innovative Use of Technology
The One Show 2019
Merit Print & Outdoor
Out-of-Home / P.O.P. & In-Store - Single
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