Burger King Is Launching a Video Game Food Delivery Service in Spain. We Went There to Test It

Pro gamers battle you on PlayStation, then take your order

Headshot of Angela Natividad

Burger King Spain is looking to level up in esports and gaming. And it’s getting a lot of help from the gaming industry itself.

In its first-ever collaboration with Sony Interactive Entertainment, the brand officially launches “Burger Clan,” the creative fruit of LOLA MullenLowe,on April 28. The campaign features nine professional gamers representing FIFA ’17, Call of Duty … and a certain action/adventure game that probably inspired you to hijack cars when you were going through your Ragey Phase.

In essence, “Burger Clan” makes use of the brand’s existing home delivery service—except it’s the gamers who’ll take your order, every weekend through May 21.

Hungry? Why wait? (Sorry, Snickers.)

From Friday to Sunday, one gamer from each of the games will be available to play live with Spanish users on PlayStation Plus. If losing to Herzex makes you hangry, take advantage: The FIFA world champion will pass your dire need for nuggets to a Burger King employee standing by, and your food will appear before you’ve even had the chance to throw your controller across the room.

Here’s how it works:

“‘Burger Clan’ is a totally disruptive and creative action, not only in the food sector, but also in the video game industry. It creates a great balance between usefulness and fun,” says Bianca Shen Leme, marketing director at Burger King Spain. “As a brand, we love doing things differently, and we believe that ‘Burger Clan’ responds to this purpose. It’s a great example of how we like to act as a company.”

To play (and give orders—literally!), users must have a PlayStation Plus account. Gamers have all created special handles for the campaign.

Call of Duty is represented by BK_Glaaix—for Glaaix, captain of Team MRN; BK_Buka; and BK_Gamer_1. For FIFA, you may find yourself head-to-head with two-time European sub-championship winner BK_Ferperry, BK_Herzex (a two-time world champion) and BK_Galloso, who’s in Spain’s FIFA Top 10. Lastly come the action/adventure champs: BK_Sammy, BK_Bea and BK_Masa.

Because of how well things went last time I was sent into the field, I traveled from my home in Paris to Madrid this week to test it out. I actually found myself faced off with Carlos Masa on Monday, testing both his ordering capacity and his patience. Here I am, about to say a word that kids shouldn’t hear.

And Masa, too cool for school, shortly after taking my order and passing it to the nice woman on the right:

Masa had set up a super-simple racing scenario. Not only did I never figure out how I trapped myself in a van while everyone else had 4x4s, I also never succeeded in finding the track. Instead I wandered off, maverick-style, and destroyed my character in a nearby beach. Out of shame.

Masa: “Do you want to try again…?” No, Masa, I want my chicken sandwich.

Here’s the setup. It’s stationed at Burger King’s 69 Gran Vía location, right in the heart of Madrid.

And here it is with people! (Well, journalists.) In this test round preceding launch, the fast-food brand housed the talents of Ferperry, GameR697 (Iván Lalov, playing on PlayStation Plus as BK_Gamer_1) and Masa.

The campaign’s four weekends will serve as a pilot before potentially rolling out more broadly.

After testing the demo, I sat with BK’s Leme and Jorge Huguet, marketing director at Sony Interactive Entertainment Spain and Portugal (PlayStation), to ask a few questions about “Burger Clan.”

AdFreak: Tell us how the campaign came into being.
Leme: We had lots of demand in our social networks, asking why Burger King hasn’t done anything with gamers. We had ideas, but it’s difficult to find something unique. Everybody’s done something. In our case, we studied a lot, then LOLA came with the idea. It was totally connected with what we wanted—something unique, powerful, edgy and that strengthens the brand. It’s made specifically for [the gaming community].

We put a plan in place. We wanted to have the best—PlayStation—and didn’t know if they were going to accept us! But we needed to be with them; it was mandatory for the success of the activation. We went to present, and they loved the idea.

Huguet: It was funny, because the first time they came, in December, we said, “Oh my god, this is a crazy idea.” But PlayStation tends to be crazy, so we said let’s talk, and see if it can be done. When our gamers are playing, they want to eat. Why not with Burger King? It’s a great brand.

Leme: The brands are both young and edgy, and “Burger Clan” accommodates this balance very well. It’s hard to find an idea that is fun and useful.

Who is your target market?
Huguet: Gamers are from 8 years old to 120. We’re talking to a big target—people that like to play online, mainly from 12 to 25. This is the core for gamers that play online.

Leme: Burger King welcomes everybody. Gamers go from little to older, so it’s not an age target; it’s an attitude.

Gaming is often (incorrectly) categorized as mostly for kids. How would you respond to pundits decrying your efforts as unhealthy?
Leme: This is made for a need that gamers have; it’s adapted to their necessities. If they have needs, they’ll come to us [whether we’re in the gaming market or not]. That’s the key. We’re not forcing anybody; we’re adapting to their lifestyle. It’s genuinely done for them.

How do you ensure you’ll feel authentic to gamers?
Huguet: It’s important to test, and we have to test in the best conditions. These guys are professionals (ed.: referring to the pro-gamers); they’re very good and they’ll tell us. We’ll have a better feeling after the pilot, but we feel it’s going to work.

Leme: I believe that every idea works if it’s genuine—and in this case, it’s very genuine. There’s a need, and the need is, “I don’t want to stop playing.” That’s why I think it’s authentic; people recognize it’s made for them, adapted to their lifestyle. They want to play as much as they can.

Huguet: It’s an entertainment idea. We are talking to people that like to be entertained.

Leme: It’s a simple idea. Simple ideas are the best. The simpler it is, the easier to multiply.

Is there a significance to launching in Spain first?
Leme: Spain is special for Burger King. Spain has one of the biggest home delivery markets in the world. It’s also the third-biggest country for Burger King in the world [after the U.S. and Germany]. We’re also one of the only markets with more restaurants than the competition—we were the first to launch a fast-food chain here. It was the first in the E.U.

Huguet: For consoles, software and service sales, Spain is our sixth biggest country [after the U.S., Japan, the U.K., Germany and France]. It’s a country with a great audience.

Do you plan to scale the campaign?
Huguet: In Spain, there are 1 million people that like to play online. Now we have a professional gaming community, and I can imagine that other MVPs might want to be part of this idea. Why not?

Leme: This is the first trial of two big brands together doing something cool. It’s our first time working together, and we’re going to learn a lot. Given these learnings, there’s lots of possibilities to work on. Burger King here is one of the references for [stores in other markets]; Spain is an innovative country. I’ve heard a lot of demand, not only from Europe but from Burger King abroad.

Huguet: This is like Silicon Valley. We’re testing a prototype! The mentality is to do the best and export to other countries.

How are you supporting “Burger Clan”?
Leme: We have a strong digital campaign, as well as PR and broader media. We want to tell new people to come and join. I think this is also the beauty—to recruit new gamers.

Huguet: We’re complementing the things they’re doing in our own media, like social networks—Twitter, Facebook, YouTube—and our PR teams.

What are your metrics for success?
Leme: There are two objectives. We want people to know about this. It’s very unique. Obviously we want orders, but it isn’t the main objective. It’s to get the activation known, and to have people try.

If customers are happy, we’re happy. If they feel this was useful for them, and they like and appreciate that PlayStation and Burger King are doing something cool, it’s cool for us too—and they’ll like us better.

Can we expect more collaborative activity from you in esports and gaming?
Huguet: We are very open.

Leme: It was great dating. Now we’re going to get married!

Cue the Jagged Edge soundtrack.

Wrapping up with good news, that test order I made with Masa really did get made. Below is video of the team surprising me with it as I stepped away from the console, along with a swag bag that contained a shirt, a USB key shaped like a hamburger, and some nifty controller grips.

Lucky thing. Gaming works up an appetite. Witness as I nuzzle the winnings while an employee in the background scowls in my general direction. (He probably lost at FIFA.)

Campaign: Burger Clan

Client: Burger King
SVP Global Brand Management: Fernando Machado
VP & General Manager, Spain: Bianca Shen
Burger King Spain: Yvette-Karen Altet, María Estrela

Agency: LOLA MullenLowe
Chief Creative Officer: Chacho Puebla
Executive Creative Director: Pancho Cassis
Creative Director: Fabio Brigido, Tomás Ostiglia
Head of Art: Fabio Brigido
Head of Innovation: Fred Bosch
Creative Supervisor: André Toledo
Copywriter: André Toledo
Art Director: Aida Pozuelo
Account Director: Tom Elliston
Account Supervisor: Laura Gerpe
Strategic Planner: Marcelle Santos
Head of PR: Sarah Okrent
Social Media: Alex Sánchez
Agency Producer: Sebastián Arce, César Baciero, Elizabeth Crego
Other credits: Jose Escanes, Juan Francisco Posadas
Production House: Tronco
Director: Henri & Sebastian
Executive Producer: Silvia Romero
D.O.P: Violetta D´Agata
Editor: Guillermo Grillo
Music: Hijos Music Design
Influencer Agency: 2btube

@luckthelady angela.natividad@gmail.com Angela Natividad is a frequent contributor to Adweek's creativity blog, AdFreak. She is also the author of Generation Creation and co-founder of Hurrah, an esports agency. She lives in Paris and when she isn't writing, she can be found picking food off your plate.