Campaign of the Week

1 February 2022

Burger King invites people to 'steal' Whoppers in Money Heist campaign 

Burger King in Argentina boosted app downloads 50% with interactive digital outdoor giveaway linked to Netflix show Money Heist

Money Heist is a popular Spanish Netflix series in which a group of thieves plot an ambitious robbery. In December 2021, inspired by the series, Burger King partnered with Netflix to create a campaign called Whopper Heist, which invited customers to ‘steal’ Whoppers from digital displays positioned around Buenos Aires.

Created by agency We Believers, Buenos Aires, the out-of-home campaign used NFC technology to connect with the Burger King app on the phones of passers-by. App users received messages letting them know they were in the vicinity of a Whopper, and could ‘steal’ it by holding their phones up to the digital posters, which featured a Whopper and the copy ‘Point your phone and steal it’. 

When the NFC device connected to the phone, it signalled to the server to make the burgers disappear from the displays and appear on users’ phones. The digital Whoppers could then be redeemed for real Whoppers on the Burger King app. Users could also use the app to see how many Whoppers were left and where they were located.

Results / According to the agency, the campaign led to a 49.5% increase in weekly app downloads, a 25.3% increase in mobile unit sales per store, and all the burgers were ‘stolen’ within two days. 

Contagious Insight 

Enter the zeitgeist / By tying this campaign to the global release of the final part of Money Heist on Netflix (3 December, 2021), Burger King successfully tapped into a cultural moment and inserted itself into the buzz surrounding the show. Like the criminals in Money Heist, Burger King positions itself as an underdog to root for, and with this campaign, it turns its customers into co-conspirators. The cheeky approach is in keeping with Burger King’s brand, and reminiscent of past campaigns such as The Whopper Detour and Escape the Clown. Burger King usually makes sure to ‘punch up’, and the tone is mischievous but inclusive. As Gabriel Schmitt, chief creative officer at FCB New York, told us in 2019 of The Whopper Detour, ‘There's a difference between being a smart ass and being an asshole.’

Freebies and fun / As with many of Burger King’s campaigns of the past two years, the business objective here is to drive app downloads. To motivate people to download your app, there has to be an incentive – and a freebie is a good start. But to really clinch the deal, Burger King introduced an element of urgency and scarcity into the equation: alerting passers-by when they were in the vicinity of a billboard and giving real-time updates about the limited number of Whoppers left to claim gave people a more compelling reason to interact with the campaign than simply claiming a free burger. By leveraging the shared equity of Burger King’s underdog spirit and the popularity of Money Heist, the campaign turned a giveaway into a fun challenge, leading to the burgers disappearing within two days.

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