The food industry, particularly fast food, is full of additives and it's widely talked about. But people around the world are demanding clean food. The last 3 years Burger King have removed 8,500 tons of artificial preservatives Globally. But in recent years messages about sustainability, locally grown and organic brands and products have flooded the world.To cut through and send an important message, including to the fast food industry, Burger King showed its iconic Whopper molding for up to 35 days. It started a debate that reached well beyond where many activities has gone before.
The removal of 8,500 tons of artificial preservatives Globally is the equivalent of 38 Statues of Liberty per year. In most of Europe, big areas in the US and particularly in Sweden, BK has removed all artificial preservatives from its products. The brief was to tell this to the world. But since being much smaller than main competitor McDonalds and therefor having a lot less to spend on marketing, Burger King need to be smarter with every dollar they spend. BK broke the mold with something unpredictable: mold.
Describe the creative idea (20% of vote)
BK launched The Moldy Whopper", featuring the iconic Whopper rotting through a period of 35 days A simple and clear message, also to the fast food industry, showing that food at BK has no preservatives. It might’ve gone against every convention, but it showed that mold could be a beautiful thing too. The molding Whopper was then displayed in various contexts.
Describe the PR strategy (30% of vote)
Burger Kings main competitor McDonalds are three times bigger, and have a much bigger advertising budget. Burger King have to depend on a smarter use of their advertising dollars to bridge the gap. As a consequence BK have a tradition of making cut through ideas that travels the world in a short time to compensate for their much smaller budget.
The plan was to cut through in a world that has so many conventions around both sustainability and food advertising. Showing the iconic Whopper molding was a too radical approach not to take notice. In that way Burger King amplified the the message that Burger King had removed artificial preservatives not only to fast food entusiasts but also the the fast food industry as a whole.
Describe the PR execution (20% of vote)
Every fast food brand showcases their burgers the same way: juicy, beautiful, and over-produced photographs. As a result, it can be hard to believe that the food in those photos are real. So BK launched The Moldy Whopper", featuring the iconic Whopper rotting through a period of up to 35 days in mid February 2020. By using unconventional storytelling about the signature Whopper and conventional PR channels combined with some strategically chosen media placements it didn't take long for Moldy Whopper to appear in the news and morning shows all over the world telling the story that Burger King is now artificial preservative free.
List the results (30% of vote)
The Moldy Whopper traveled the globe and was lively talked about in the real world, reaching its targets, ie changing perception of the quality of Burger Kings food and increase consideration to visit. The discussion landed well on the positive side:
Sales: + 14%
Impressions: 8,4 Billion
Earned Media Value: $ 40 million.
Positive sentiment: +88%
High Quality ingredients perception: +26%
Visitation consideration: + 22%