Who needs the McWhopper when you can have the Slopper? Burger King proposes to collaborate with other burger outlets

After a rejection from main competitor McDonald’s to join forces and create the McWhopper for Peace Day, Burger King, with Y&R, graciously released another open letter this morning, with a further proposition for collaboration on the day. This time to Denny’s, Wayback Burgers, Krystal, Giraffas and again, McDonald’s.

Burger King’s campaign with Y&R was launched last week with a full-page ‘open letter’ appearing in the New York Times and the Chicago Tribune and invited McDonald’s to participate in the project and check out the website www.mcwhopper.com to view the full proposal and everything from packaging suggestions to recipe ideas.  

But, as it would appear, McDonald’s wasn’t ‘Lovin’ it’ and McDonald’s CEO Steve Easterbrook responded to Burger King with an open letter on social media in which he suggested it was silly to compare a fast food rivalry to war. Easterbrook, who took over as the slumping fast food chain’s top executive earlier this year, signed his letter with a terse, “P.S. A simple phone call will do next time”.

So, in response Burger King has released another open letter, saying its proposal still stands, while opening itself up to collaborate with other burger outlets after receiving a number of responses from other restaurants “large and small” wanting to join forces to spread the Peace Day message.

As the letter says: “Naturally, peace is all-inclusive and open to all. So Denny’s, Wayback Burgers, Krystal and Giraffas, we’d like to build on your individual proposals to collaborate on Peace Day, September 21, 2015. Our idea would be that we all come together to create a burger that combines a key ingredient from each of our signature sandwiches.”

The letter also says Burger King has a pop-up restaurant under construction so all it needs is cooperation and “a donation to Peace One Day”.

In a full-page ad in USA Today and The New York Times, Denny’s said it wants to collaborate with Burger King.

And also took to Twitter saying: “Hey @BurgerKing, we love the idea of a peace burger. We’re just not sure what to call this thing. Any ideas?”

It then suggested a few of its own names:

Here’s the videos apart of Burger King’s original proposal:

Y&R executive creative director/chief executive Josh Moore wasn’t available to chat today but said in an email, anecdotally from what he’d heard from the US, things were going well in regard to the latest letter’s response.

He said earlier the campaign has had an 18 month gestation. Its media arm originally took the idea to the local BK team and then got the introduction to the “very collaborative” global marketing team, which loved the idea and set about trying to make it happen.

As Moore said in a release last week: “When we first tabled this idea with Burger King we knew it was a long shot – asking a global icon to take their hero product and blend it with that of their biggest competitor. But we’ve been totally overwhelmed by the enthusiasm and appetite for big thinking and bold ideas at all levels of Burger King. I only hope McDonald’s jump on board and make this a monumental event in the name of Peace Day. Let’s end the beef, with beef.” 

Moore said there was always a sense that McDonald’s would look into it to see whether it was an “elaborate trick”, but they didn’t expect a kneejerk reaction like that. He said it is a simple, genuine idea and a nice gesture that he hopes they’ll roll with.

While the sentiment is good and it will raise awareness of Peace Day, an annual day of global unity on September 21 that has been successfully advocated by the non-profit organisation Peace One Day, there’s also a strategic element to it and being the brand asking puts BK in a good position. And because it hasn’t been done before, he says that’s why BK was so passionate about it. 

“We’re hoping this happens and maybe a few other brands and agencies get together too … [Peace Day] is a really good movement and it’s got really good sponsorship but not much participation,” Moore said. 

He said this is just the first stage of the campaign, and there’s a lot more creative material set to be rolled out. Like Steinlager’s White Can campaign, which had to factor in the All Blacks winning or losing, he says there is a yes road and no road. But he says there are plenty of other major burger brands in line to take up the offer if McDonald’s do say no.

The campaign has been picked up across some big media outlets like Bloomberg, the New York Times and Mashable.

See our first story on the campaign here.


Client:                                      Burger King

Agency:                                   Y&R New Zealand

CEO / CCO:                             Josh Moore

Creative Director:                      Tom Paine       

Creative:                                   Tom Paine

Head of Planning:                     Jono Key

Account Director:                      Victoria Meo

Agency Producer:                     Liz Rosby

Agency Producer:                     Sacha Moore

Digital Producer:                       Melissa Logan

Senior Designer:                       James Wendelborn

GM Media (Auckland):              Nicky Greville

Media Planner (Auckland):        Marie-Claire Manson

Animation company:                 Assembly

Film company:                          Flying Fish

Music / sound design:               Liquid Studios

Post production:                       Mandy

Digital production:                     Resn

Packaging:                                Turner Duckworth

Media (U.S):                             Rock Orange

Activation (U.S):                        DAVID

Digital (U.S):                              Code & Theory

PR (U.S):                                   ABPR

Media (U.S):                             Horizon

About Author

Comments are closed.