BACKGROUND

In an effort to “end the beef” and call a cease-fire on the International Day of Peace, QSR giant Burger King approached its global rival, McDonalds, with a very public “McWhopper” of a proposal. Burger King ran a full-page ad in the New York Times and the Chicago Tribune, proposing that the two brands team-up to end the so-called “burger wars” and combine their two signature burgers – the Whopper and Big Mac – for one day only at a pop-up location in Atlanta (the halfway point from the two corporate headquarters). The event would take place on Peace Day, Sept. 21st and all donations received from the McWhopper would be contributed to Peace One Day, a nonprofit organization whose objective is to raise awareness of the International Day of Peace. When McDonalds unceremoniously declined Burger King’s offer, The Krystal Company took immediate action with a steamy proposal. In the wake of McDonalds rebuff, Krystal stepped in and extended the olive branch to Burger King by offering the classic Krystal for a one-time-only “Kropper” (a masterful mix of the Krystal and a Whopper).

STRATEGY

By offering to be the white knight on social media, we involved our fans and the media who monitor us in creating the groundswell for Burger King to accept our offer. We employed the “David vs. Goliath” approach with a philanthropic hook to become a part of the narrative.

THE HOOK

Working in tandem with Krystal’s Marketing partnerships, we collectively leveraged Krystal’s social media platforms to launch our “Tiny King” missive, with minimal expense. We posted our own “open letter” proposition to collaborate with Burger King to help spread the word about peace. This garnered the attention from local and national media. Shortly after Krystal’s public offering, other brands such as Denny’s, Wayback Burgers and Giraffas followed Krystal’s plea to collaborate in the name of peace. The five brands joined forces to create a so-called United Nations of burgers, the ‘Peace Burger’. The Peace Burger had key ingredients from each of the participant’s signature burgers. “Corporate activism on this scale creates mass awareness and awareness creates action and action saves lives,” said Jeremy Gilley, founder of Peace One Day.

TACTICS

  • Ink Link took the lead in organizing the marketing collective to support the stunt. We worked with the creative and social teams to develop commemorative shirts, LSM guides, print ads and ways for consumers to feel a part of the day.
  • A 25-cent donation was made to the PeaceOneDay organization on Sept. 21, Peace Day, for every Vidalia Q Krystal sold. This allowed us to dial up an LTO product that had little ad support.
  • We booked a massive three-day food tour and conducted drops of the Vidalia Q Krystals along with commemorative t-shirts, tattoos, Peace Day Krystal boxes, stickers, pins and pencils that were made to leave with media and businesses, to the top eight markets for the Krystal system. We generated press in all of them.
  • We secured a proclamation from the City of Atlanta naming Sept. 21 as Peace Day in the City of Atlanta, Ga.
  • We created a complimentary street-fair themed event at the Krystal location directly across the street from the Peace Day pop up. The event was complete with wind wavers, music, games and viral photo booth to generate street noise and attract passersby. We also set up our cooking platform under a tent in the parking lot to ensure traffic saw that we were providing the burgers and onions for the effort.
  • While on site, loyalty club registration was conducted.
  • On-site Radio and TV interviews were booked and we issued later that week a feature story about how small brands can act like bigger players. The goal was to target potential franchisees into considering Krystal for investment.
  • Ink Link managed guerilla marketing couponing efforts at GA Tech University to draw students to the Krystal restaurant, thereby raising awareness and traffic at the Peace Day Krystal location.

RESULTS

The Krystal brand received more than $1.2 million in ad equivalency from a campaign that began from a single tweet. Marketers cannot underestimate the power of social media and cannot be intimidated by the size of their company. Ink Link positioned the Krystal executive team, as being “forward thinking” and counseled our client to act like the bigger brand.