7 Agencies and Burger King Troll McDonald’s

By Patrick Coffee 

You probably noticed that Burger King pulled a big stunt this morning, which ran as a full-page ad in The New York Times and The Chicago Tribune and received attendant coverage in The Wall Street Journal and pretty much every other pub.

Let’s examine the campaign materials: a letter, two JPEGs, a press release and a microsite located at mcwhopper.com. The number of agencies that worked on this “elaborate publicity stunt” is a McWhopping seven:

  • David
  • Y&R New Zealand
  • Code & Theory
  • Rock Orange
  • Turner Duckworth
  • Horizon
  • Alison Brod Public Relations

The site leads to an “envelope” carrying the same letter that appeared in the papers. In that note, the BK brand reveals that it wants to end “the burger wars” for the benefit of a non-profit org called Peace One Day, which has scheduled a lot of pop concerts but done very little to contain armed conflicts around the globe.


Then there’s this:

“Consumers will pay for the burger not with cash, but with a declaration to end their ‘beef’ with someone they know.”

Here’s the video version.

…and here’s the recipe. We like that they kept the parts even and included the “special sauce,” though the balance is slightly off and the top bun is way smaller.

Your new design, courtesy of some agency:

mcwhopper 2

McDonald’s has already responded to this shameless ploy for attention, and for once the CEO of a massive global corporation sounds like the sensible party.

From the McD PR account:

In the corresponding Facebook post, chief “Steve” writes:

“We love the intention but think our two brands could do something bigger to make a difference…between us there is simply a friendly business competition and certainly not the unequaled circumstances of the real pain and suffering of war.”

Thank you, Steve. Readers may note, however, that the exec offers nothing in the way of specifics regarding ways that these two international chains can engage in “a meaningful global effort” to “raise awareness” about…violence. Or injustice. Or something.

Key questions: will the stunt help two struggling-but-still-dominant chains sell more burgers? And does CP+B still regret losing this account?

Finally, will agency folks use this occasion to end their pointless “beefs?”

Answers: probably not, of course, and UGH.