Burger King Will Give You a Free Whopper If You Catch Its Moving QR Code on TV

And no, you can't just scan this one

A moving QR code next to a Whopper
Burger King
Headshot of David Griner

The irony of QR codes is that they were most popular for marketers at a time when nobody else really knew how to use them.

These days, just about any smartphone can easily scan a code right from the camera app, but you just don’t see many banging around out there. (Unless you’re just really excited to learn more about the ingredients in your quinoa granola or whatever.)

But Burger King is bringing the QR code back in a fun way—or at least “fun” by the standards of quarantine life, in which we’re desperate for just about any form of mildly interesting distraction.

In a series of new TV spots, the brand will quietly show a QR code bouncing around the screen, reminiscent of a 1990s screen saver where you always wanted the logo to hit the corner just right, but it never quite did.

Here’s an example posted by the chain to YouTube, though as you might guess, the code shown here won’t get you very far:

If you see the spot live on TV, you’ll want to be quick about redeeming the offer. Burger King says only 10,000 free Whoppers will be given out (via the BK App, with purchase) through the promotion.

The spot, by agency David São Paulo, was born from the simple idea that even a bare-bones ad could be gamified in a way that made it somewhere more engaging for Americans stuck in quarantine.

Burger King has had no shortage of promotions amid the Covid-19 quarantine era. With its recent “Stay Home of the Whopper” promotion, the chain offered to waive delivery fees for those having meals brought to their homes. It also gave out free Whoppers through a promotion aimed at students who solved questions about math, science, literature or other school topics while having to finish their studies from home.


Agency: David Sao Paulo
Managing Director: Sylvia Panico
Creative VP: Rafael Donato
Creative Director: Edgard Gianesi
Associate Creative Director: Rogério Chaves, Fabrício Pretto
Creatives: Rogério Chaves, Fabrício Pretto
Account: Carolina Vieira, Rafael Giorgino, Juliana Chediac
Production: Fabiano Beraldo, Fernanda Peixoto, Andressa Cardoso
Edit: Leonardo Nichida
Planning: Daniela Bombonato, Carolina Silva, Tábata Pimentel
Media: Marcia Mendonça, Mateus Madureira, Felipe Braga, Letícia Defina, Renata Oliveira
Innovation and Technology: Toni Ferreira, Gustavo Nanes
Social Media: Lucas Patricio
Group Account Director: Stefane Rosa
Management Account: Jenny Gobel
Executive Account: Rachel Startz
Executive Producer: Carlos Torres
Associate Producer: Tomas Diego
Senior Business Affairs Manager: Barbara Karalis
Business Affairs Manager: Elizabeth Torriente
Burger King Brazil
Ariel Grunkraut, Thais Nicolau, Filipe Botton, Stephanie Pellin, Marilia Santos e Vinícius Simon de Freitas
Burger King Global
Marketing Officer Global Chief: Fernando Machado
Head of Global Marketing: Diego Suarez
Sr Brand Manager Global Marketing: Rachel Kellerman
Burger King North America
President, Burger King North America: Chris Finazzo
Head of Marketing North America: Marcelo Pascoa
Head of Marketing North America: Renato Rossi
Director of Marketing Communications: Rogelio Magana
Manager, Advertising: Rachel Williams
Director, Media & Social Channels: Jorge R. Oliveira
Social Media Digital Marketing: Flavia Guetter
Sr. Analyst, Media: Richardson, Rebecca
Hogarth, Sao Paulo
Cosmo Street, Miami

@griner david.griner@adweek.com David Griner is creative and innovation editor at Adweek and host of Adweek's podcast, "Yeah, That's Probably an Ad."