Burger King’s McWhopper campaign, an experiment in peace making, has been awarded the Grand Prize for Avant Garde at the New York Festivals International Advertising Awards, and Yellow Pencils at the D&AD Awards. Burger King called for a ‘burger wars ceasefire’ with their longstanding rival McDonald’s, proposing that on Peace Day, 21st September, 2015, the two restaurants set aside their differences and join forces to cook and serve the ‘McWhopper’ – a peace-loving burger that combines all the tastiest ingredients from the McDonald’s Big Mac and the Burger King Whopper. The campaign was launched with a full-page open letter from Burger King to McDonald’s appearing in the New York Times and the Chicago Tribune. The letter extends a friendly, no-strings invitation to McDonald’s to participate in the project, and invites them to visit mcwhopper.com to view the full Burger King peace proposal and everything from packaging suggestions to recipe ideas. The project included a pop-up McWhopper restaurant in Atlanta, the halfway point between Burger King’s Miami HQ and McDonald’s HQ in Chicago. Burger King’s ‘McWhopper’ peace proposal campaign was rolled out in the US, the UK, Canada, Germany, Spain, Brazil, Mexico and New Zealand. The Facebook response from McDonalds CEO Steve Easterbrook, however, was disappointing. Instead, Burger King ended up launching the Peace Day Burger for one day in collaboration with Denny’s, Wayback Burgers, Krystal, and Giraffes USA.
The Peace Day Burger combined ingredients from the restaurants’ signature sandwiches into one delicious, peace-loving burger. This culinary mash-up contained parts of Denny’s Bacon Slamburger, Wayback’s Wayback Classic, Krystal’s Cheese Krystal, Giraffas’ Brutus and Burger King’s Whopper sandwiches.
“Since the beginning, the main objective of this initiative was to raise awareness of Peace Day. We are really proud to be part of the Peace One Day corporate coalition and to see that the awareness of Peace Day in the US is almost five times higher among those who saw this campaign than those who were not aware of it,” said Fernando Machado, Senior Vice President for Global Brand Management at Burger King Corporation. “We were overwhelmed by the goodwill of our fellow restaurateurs, and believe that working with them to create this once-in-a-lifetime burger is a beautiful twist of fate.”
“As far as McDonald’s goes, any activity they undertake, whether in partnership with Burger King or on their own, would be incredible, as it will raise further awareness for Peace Day,” Machado goes on to say. “And inadvertently, the McWhopper has 100% become a reality for some. The public wholeheartedly embraced the campaign and thousands of DIY McWhoppers have been created, reviewed, and shared on social media.”