Burger King's 'Whopper Freakout' Marketing Campaign
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"What I find interesting about this [Whopper Freakout] campaign is that it makes a point of listening to customers, which I believe is a primary charge for marketers. I would go so far as to say that marketers need to be an internal customer advocate."1
"The smart agencies are working to create a new set of rules because at critical times the only thing that really resonates is a drastic but very bold break from convention. That is exactly what happened with the Burger King Whopper Freakout and Coke Zero Lawyers campaigns - convention was broken in creative, not destructive, ways and the campaigns were wildly successful."4
- Miles Nadal, chairman and CEO of MDC Partners Inc.5, in 2008.
'Freaking Out' Customers
Most of the customers were shocked to hear that their favorite burger had been discontinued. Their reactions were videotaped using hidden cameras and this was made into a 7½ minute documentary that was posted on the Internet.
The campaign was launched to celebrate the Whopper's 50th anniversary. This was also a bid by the company to know whether the Whopper was America's most favorite burger. Burger King was well known for the innovative advertising campaigns it had run since the late 1950s. The most successful of all was its 'Have it Your Way' campaign launched in 1974, which encouraged consumers to order the burger the way they liked it.
1]Roland Smart, "Viral Campaign Listens to Customers Sort of …,” www.rolandsmart.com, January 12, 2009.
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