Burger King Whopper Freakout Is One Of Our Favorite Campaigns Ever
“I HATE Wendy’s.”
Marketing campaigns are launched every single day. And most of them are proven over time to be completely forgettable.
Burger King hit a home run in 2008 when they hired Crispin, Porter + Bogusky, the agency that came up with the Burger King Whopper Freakout concept and won a Creativity Award from noted industry site Advertising Age.
The 7:50 minute mini-movie is so good, we make our children watch it. Crispin reported over one million visits to the microsite with an average logged time of 8:33 and over four million finished video views, meaning most visitors watched several times.
As part of Burger King’s 50th anniversary, the only creative direction the agency got from BK was “to tell people and prove that the Whopper was still America’s favorite. That was the brief within the 50th anniversary brief.” The notion was to take it off the menu and see if people would care.
And people cared.
“Just throw it away” is what one patron said after his Whopper was unwittingly removed from his bag in exchange for a Wendy’s burger.
“I opened up my bag and that was in there,” said one customer about a rogue Big Mac. “I hate McDonald’s.”
But it isn’t just the absolute disdain and hatred exhibited by Burger King brand champions about rival burger outposts. Though that is entertaining to watch. The candid unrequited emotional responses are what make this campaign so great.
Grown men telling childhood stories about what the Whopper meant to them — “We got double Whoppers because we were big boys.” — is what does it. Another man recounting how he drove from New York to Connecticut to get a Whopper is compelling.
To see what a brand comes to represent it to the people that ultimately consume it, and interact with it, had to give the agency and Burger King more than they ever bargained for. But it also showed how powerful it is when a consumer connects with a product or brand.
All brands and products start out as a single thought in an individual’s mind, one of the roughly 50,000 to 70,000 thoughts we have on average every day. And the best marketing campaigns, like Burger King’s Whopper Freakout, and brands are top of mind when it’s time to make purchasing decisions.
And now, every time we hear someone talk about Wendy’s, all we can think about is some scary dude in a Mojave Electric t-shirt menacingly growl “I hate Wendy’s,” while he clenches his fist.