News & Views

Burger King / Fanning The Flames

by Contagious I/O

This story originally appeared on Contagious I/O, our intelligence tool featuring the most creative and effective ideas in marketing from around the world

Fast food chain lets New Zealanders create pop-up restaurants at home

In an effort to remind people that all of its patties are flame grilled, Burger King is giving fans a chance to cook their own Whoppers in their back gardens.

Over the next four months, the brand is giving away 50 Backyard Burger King kits. Each one contains ingredients to make 16 Whoppers, along with customised cooking utensils, hat, apron, matches and an illuminating sign.

To apply for the chance to win a kit, users must head to Burger King’s Facebook page and describe in 140 characters why they should receive the prize. To date, more than 11,500 entries have been received in under one week.

‘Burger King’s been using flames to cook Whoppers since 1957,’ said Steve Cochran, ECD at Colenso BBDO in Auckland, the agency behind the campaign. ‘Despite almost 60 years of cooking this way, many people don’t know or don’t believe their burgers are still made over real flames. Backyard Burger King is an engaging way to help reassure them they are.’


Contagious Insight / 

Changing perceptions / As Colenso’s Steve Cochran says above, the campaign’s key aim is to remind people that all of the store’s burgers are cooked over a grill – just as people would barbeque their food at home. This is a key point of differentiation for Burger King, as flame-grilling meat means that it undergoes the Maillard Reaction (where amino acids react with sugars) to produce a far superior taste than a pattie that’s cooked in an oven or microwave.

When people walk into a fast food restaurant, where they have to wait only seconds for a meal, it can be easy to assume that shortcuts are taken and the burgers aren’t given the flame-grilled love that they deserve. But, by giving people all the tools they need to cook the Whoppers themselves, the message that Burger King doesn’t cut corners or reheat patties comes through strongly.

The perfect environment / By providing all the equipment for a brilliant barbecue Burger King is helping to create the ideal environment for people to enjoy their products. This may not have huge reach (after all, there are only going to be 800 burgers cooked and eaten in gardens throughout New Zealand), but it is a useful additional benefit to the campaign, beyond just changing perceptions.

This tactic – of creating a fun environment for your product to be consumed in, so that people always relate the brand to fun times with friends – has been mastered by Brazilian beer brand Skol. In our case study on the brand, we showed how it has also tapped into the barbecue experience, creating radio stations, customer service channels and even beer crates that double up as barbecues.

‘Skol is now an entertainment brand,’ explained F/Nazca Saatchi & Saatchi’s president and creative director, Fabio Fernandes, in the feature. ‘We’ve focused on creating an environment that transcends the product itself.’ 

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This story originally appeared on Contagious I/O, our intelligence tool featuring the most creative and effective ideas in marketing from around the world. I/O helps anyone in the world of marketing understand why brands are innovating, how they're doing it and with what success.

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