McWhopper: How Burger King is Deceiving You

I saw it. I tried to ignore it. I gave in. I said I wouldn’t write about it.
And here we are.

The McWhopper story

Monday Aug 24:

Burger King puts out several full page ads as well as launching the

“Burger King genuinely wants to unite with McDonalds on September 21 2015, to prepare and serve the McWhopper and get the world talking about the Peace Day. Naturally we’ll only proceed if you’re on board, so we created this site to help you better understand our proposal and realize the potential.”
– Burger King[01]

Blah, blah blah.

The response:

“Dear Burger King, Inspiration for a good cause… great idea. We love the intention but think our two brands could do something bigger to make a difference. We commit to raise awareness worldwide, perhaps you’ll join us in a meaningful global effort? And every day, let’s acknowledge that between us there is simply a friendly business competition and certainly not the unequaled circumstances of the real pain and suffering of war. We’ll be in touch.

— Steve, McDonald’s CEO.

PS. A simple phone call will do next time.”

The world:

Everyone loses their shit. Both the media and the public can’t stop talking about Ronald’s missed opportunity, and how much of a dick CEO Stevie is.

My rant

Give me a break. Seriously? Let’s get down to it.

  1. Inspiration
    The source of this idea came from BK’s marketing department, not their social responsibility department. The offer was disingenuous from the get-go. That said, the intention of any marketing department is the same. To increase positive exposure with the goal of increasing sales. Using the backdrop of peace is a crude move, even for the King.
  2. Management
    If Burger King management wanted to actually do something meaningful, they wouldn’t take out full page ads and launch a microsite. Executives on both sides would discuss first. As Steve said, “a simple phone call will do…
  3. Operations
    Do you have any idea what kind of operation it would require to pull off a McWhopper globally? I don’t think a few weeks prep is fair. Burger King knew 100% that this idea was not feasible. Companies have timely goals and objectives. No company, especially the size of McDs, would halt global operations, and jump on competitor’s marketing band wagon
  4. Association
    Burger King is like a shitty little rapper trying to diss a bigger MC in hopes to be associated with a bigger name.[03] Burger King has 12,997 locations, while McDs has 45,000. The “King’s” revenue: $1.97 billion[04]. McDonald’s revenue: $24 billion[05]. That’s over 10x the size of BK, with only, just over three times the locations. Even Tim Hortons, which is much smaller, ‘is not buying Burger King’[06]. Why? Timmy’s is more profitable and better managed[07].

The King gets his comeuppance

Aug 29:

Denny’s makes “peace burger” offer to BK. With only 1,541 locations and $472 million (down from $939m since 2007[08]) in revenue, Burger King can now help Denny’s with their brand awareness campaign. Good job fellas.


Talk about sloppy seconds.

01. 02. 03. My rants tend to get hip hop in tone. 04. 05. 06. 07. IBID 08.