June 17th, 2011
Burger King Spins Free Whoppers at TV Viewers
Fast-food chain Burger King is handing out free Whoppers to DirecTV viewers so desperate for a beefy fix that they’re willing to stare at a spinning sandwich on their TVs for five minutes. What’s more, those prepared to endure 15 or 30 minutes of the gyrating foodstuff will be rewarded with two or three Whoppers, respectively, for their troubles.
The campaign is intended to preserve the value of the Whopper - the chain’s flagship product - by asking users to earn their free food, rather than giving it away cheaply in return for simple social media actions, for example.
“It’s amazing how easily brands give away their products on platforms such Facebook. I understand wanting to attract ‘likes’… but there’s ways to interact with consumers without gutting the value of your product,” explained Matt O’Rourke, Interactive Group Creative Director at Burger King’s agency Crispin Porter + Bogusky. “People are willing to do a lot to get their hands on whopper,” he added.
The innovative campaign, dubbed Whopper Lust, will likely be the last CP+B conducts for the fast-food brand after the pair announced they were parting ways earlier this year. “We’re getting close to the end,” O’Rourke said of the relationship.
In the meantime, DirecTV users can tune to channel 111 to view footage of the spinning Whopper, and are required to press buttons on their remote on command to prove they’re giving their undivided attention. After the first five minutes, players can either request to have their coupon mailed to them, or choose to continue to watch for either 15 or 30 minutes to earn two or three whoppers instead.
According to CP+B, Americans have stared at the sandwich for over 300,000 cumulative minutes since Monday morning, but that total will reach over 810,000 minutes, or 13,500 hours, by the campaign’s end on Friday if viewers continue to tune in at their current rate. “It’s blowing up. It’s doing very, very well,” O’Rourke said, adding that the number of burgers originally allocated for the entire week had already been claimed in the first four hours after the campaign went live.
In terms of driving viewers to the channel, O’Rourke said the agency has done very little in the way of paid advertising, relying primarily on word of mouth to let the campaign spread organically.
On the back-end, DirecTV is providing the agency with metrics on how many households claimed the free burger, and how many each household claimed. So far, the number of users watching for 15 minutes to earn two sandwiches isn’t far behind those claiming just one. O’Rourke said the agency “felt sure people wouldn’t sit through 30 minutes,” but added that the number choosing to do so “isn’t far behind those going for two.”