Burger King recently extended a figurative olive branch to McDonald’s in honor of the upcoming Peace Day by suggesting the two fast food chains meld their signature burgers into a McWhopper for one day at a pop-up store in Atlanta.
But was this really just a good-natured attempt by BK to partner with their rival in an effort to raise money for a good cause?
Of course not.
If McDonald’s agreed to it, BK would have emerged the victor by being the one to suggest the temporary truce. If McDonald’s declined — which they did — BK still wins by looking like they were willing to set aside their differences in the name of world peace.
McDonald’s tried taking the high road by suggesting that in honor of the day the two companies’ efforts would be better spent doing something that actually contributes to world peace, adding that, “a simple phone call will do next time.”
If BK was really serious about collaborating on the project, they would have simply picked up the phone and discussed it. Rather, they played a game of marketing chess by luring McDonald’s into an unwinnable situation.
And it worked. Instead of calling BK out for their disingenuous marketing ploy, social media lambasted McDonald’s for being the fuddy-duddy that wouldn’t go along with this irreverent, lighthearted collaboration.
Their burgers might be medium-rare, but Burger King’s public relations are definitely well done.
Follow Up: Predictably, another restaurant seized the moment for some bandwagon publicity by offering to take BK up where McDonald’s declined. To date, we haven’t heard whether BK has accepted Denny’s invitation to create a Slamper, Whammper or some such nonsense. My vote goes for naming it a Whopslam, but that doesn’t mean I have any intention on trying it.