Burger King's 'Whopper Freakout' Marketing Campaign

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Case Details:

Case Code : MKTG239
Case Length : 17 Pages
Period : 2007-2009
Pub Date : 2010
Teaching Note :Not Available
Organization : Burger King Corporation
Industry : Fast Food
Countries : US

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This case study was compiled from published sources, and is intended to be used as a basis for class discussion. It is not intended to illustrate either effective or ineffective handling of a management situation. Nor is it a primary information source.

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Introduction Contd...

Over the years, the fast food giant had launched several unconventional and innovative marketing campaigns that promoted its products and helped Burger King increase its visibility among its target consumers. The Whopper Freakout campaign featured a viral marketing website, www.whopperfreakout.com' which consisted of videotaped customer reactions. The campaign, backed by other promotional elements such as TV advertisements, print, and online ads, was designed by CP+B. According to experts, the Whopper Freakout campaign helped Burger King prove its hypothesis that it was America's favorite burger since the customers ate the Whopper more often.

Marketing Management Case Studies | Case Study in Management, Operations, Strategies, Marketing Management, Case Studies

What's more, Burger King also got a wax replica of the Whopper at Madame Tussauds11 in December 2007 to mark the 50th anniversary of the Whopper. Commenting on the success of the Whopper, Russ Klein (Klein), president of global marketing strategy and innovation at Burger King, said, "The Whopper sandwich is a sensation worldwide.

Whether you're 15 or 50, live in Austin or Austria, the Whopper stands for a big, flame-grilled burger made your way. Burger King started the customization phenomenon with the Whopper, and our guests keep coming back because they always get what they want -- a superior burger that delivers on their individual tastes."12

The Whopper Freakout campaign was also well received by branding and advertising experts. In January 2008, Advertising Age13 reported that the campaign had logged 1.5 million views14. It generated a lot of buzz among the target consumers consisting of net savvy youngsters and quickly spread through word-of-mouth marketing15.

Josh Lauer (Lauer), assistant professor of communications at University of New Hampshire, said, "In an ad-saturated environment, word-of-mouth promotion may be more persuasive because it is rooted in the trust and authenticity of real personal relationships.

 Excerpts >>

11]Madame Tussauds is a London-based wax museum. The Whopper was the first from the food industry to be immortalized at Madame Tussauds.

12]"The Whopper Turns 50,” www.qsrmagazine.com, December 6, 2007.

13]Advertising Age is a magazine that delivers news, information, and analysis on media and marketing.

14]Alex Molnar, Faith Boninger, Gary Wilkinson, and Joseph Fogarty, "At Sea in a Marketing-Saturated World: The Eleventh Annual Report on Schoolhouse Commercialism Trends: 2007-2008,” http://epicpolicy.org, 2008.

15]Word-of-mouth marketing is a promotional effort in which organizations publicize their products or services through personal recommendations.

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