The “best burger” and the “best fries” in one imPOSSIBLE menu! Check out this brand’s witty campaign! [Thursdays: Gorillas of Guerrilla Marketing]
Miles Everson’s Business Builder Daily speaks to the heart of what great marketers, business leaders, and other professionals need to succeed in advertising, communications, managing their investments, career strategy, and more.
A Note from Miles Everson:
According to Jay Conrad Levinson, this type of marketing is unconventional, engaging, easy to execute, and sometimes, inexpensive. Campaigns of this type make a huge impact and easily stick to consumers’ minds.
As someone who’s been in the business and consulting industry for 30+ years now, I truly enjoy encountering guerrilla marketing campaigns. They remind me that expanding a particular brand’s reach doesn’t always have to be complicated.
Today, let’s talk about a clever and witty guerrilla marketing tactic that made the impossible possible.
Continue reading to know how this global fast food brand hyped up its Brazilian customers with an “impossible combo” in June 2021.
Gorillas of Guerrilla Marketing
Pelé and Maradona (both former professional football players) in the same team?
DC heroes and Marvel heroes in the same movie?
The “best burger” and the “best fries” in the same menu?
Impossible… well, NOT that impossible!
Did you know that in 2021, one global fast food chain created a brilliant guerrilla marketing campaign that made what was once an impossible menu possible?
That brand is none other than…
Photo from NRN
Burger King (BK) is a multinational chain of hamburger fast food restaurants. As of today, it currently has over 17,000 branches in 100 countries. Nearly half of these outlets are located in the U.S.
As one of the Big 3 burger chains in the U.S., BK is known for its witty guerrilla marketing stunts that not only promote its offerings but also target its rivals. We’ve featured some of these marketing tactics in our past “Gorillas of Guerrilla Marketing” articles:
- Check out how this brand achieved WHOPPING success through a brilliant 9-year challenge on Twitter! [Fridays: Gorillas of Guerrilla Marketing]
- #NeverTrustAClown: Find out how the horror movie “IT” became one brand’s “longest ad ever!” [Thursdays: Gorillas of Guerrilla Marketing]
- BUUURN! Find out how the KING used a new technology to set its rival to flames in 2019! [Thursdays: Gorillas of Guerrilla Marketing]
Today, we’ll talk about another clever marketing campaign from the brand. It’s called…
The campaign was a result of BK stepping up to customers’ challenges of creating a BK Whopper x McDonald’s fries collaboration. This was because in Brazil, many consumers thought BK Whopper is the “best burger” while McDonald’s fries is the “best fries.”
After seeing lots of Brazilian online users tweeting about this, the brand thought:
“Why not grant these customers’ desires?”
So, in June 2021, BK partnered with marketing agency Ogilvy & Mather and delivery app Rappi to pull off the first-ever sale of a unique combo meal: A Whopper sandwich with a side of McDonald’s fries!
Side note: Rappi is the biggest online delivery services app in Brazil. It had over 6 million users during the time BK launched its “The Impossible Combo” campaign.
How did the campaign play out?
Simple! For every Whopper ordered from the Rappi app, the food delivery rider would go to a BK restaurant to pick up the Whopper, then proceed to the nearest McDonald’s branch to pick up a side of fries.
This wasn’t much of a problem because nearly all BK restaurants in Brazil were located near McDonald’s restaurants.
After that, both items were placed in one paper bag with the printed text, “THE IMPOSSIBLE COMBO.”
Many of those who ordered the unique combo meal were happy to receive the food items and posted about their experiences online. Some even talked about how BK was able to make the impossible truly possible!
Was Burger King’s “The Impossible Combo” campaign effective?
In case many of you are wondering how BK successfully placed a Whopper and McDonald’s fries in one meal, here’s what the brand did:
The total payment for the unique combo meal consisted of the individual prices of a Whopper sandwich, a side of McDonald’s fries, and the delivery fee charged by the Rappi app. So, if you ever thought the campaign was a partnership between BK and McDonald’s, it wasn’t.
What actually happened was every time an order of “The Impossible Combo” meal came through Rappi, a portion of the total payment would go to BK, another portion to McDonald’s, and the third portion to the delivery app.
As a result, the campaign went by smoothly and delighted Brazilian customers!
Here are the results of the campaign:
- During the first day of the campaign, “The Impossible Combo” meal sold out in just 27 minutes.
- The unique combo became the “Most Sold Offer” on Rappi on the campaign’s launch day.
- During the campaign, BK’s Whopper sales increased by 81%.
- “The Impossible Combo” was shortlisted in D&AD’s 2022 Awards Night, under the E-commerce, Promotions, Direct, and Products & Services categories.
- The campaign won a Gold Award at The One Club Awards in 2022.
Based on these awards and figures, you’ll see that “The Impossible Combo” campaign produced positive results for BK.
Kudos, BK and Ogilvy & Mather!
As a business owner or marketer, what can you learn from this guerrilla marketing strategy?
To succeed in your marketing, you need to listen to what your customers are saying.
Take for example “The Impossible Combo” campaign…
BK wouldn’t have created this guerrilla marketing tactic if it didn’t check what many Brazilian customers are craving. It was only through knowing what its target audience wants that the brand came up with the campaign idea—and succeeded.
There’s another notable aspect in BK’s marketing strategy that you shouldn’t miss: The importance of openness to opportunities and possibilities.
Despite not having a deal or partnership with McDonald’s at the time of the campaign (and they might NEVER truly have one because they’re competitors), BK still made the impossible possible.
This helped establish a good image for BK because the campaign showed that the brand does not seriously see McDonald’s—and other burger chains—as actual rivals.
Through “The Impossible Combo,” BK communicated its openness to strike a deal with other brands in the same industry… if those brands are also willing.
Besides, collaborations are a good marketing strategy because it enables businesses to further expand their reach. Partnerships are also helpful in establishing good relationships with other business leaders, marketers, and customers.
Get inspired with today’s guerrilla marketing strategy!
With an open mindset, you’ll also be able to listen to what your target market is saying, effectively address their needs, and make a seemingly impossible strategy possible.
(This article is from The Business Builder Daily, a newsletter by The I Institute in collaboration with MBO Partners.)
About The Dynamic Marketing Communiqué’s
“Thursdays: Gorillas of Guerrilla Marketing”
Jay Conrad Levinson (1984) said that Guerrilla Marketing “works because it’s simple to appreciate, easy to execute, and inexpensive.”
Guerrilla Marketing is unconventional.
Looking beyond the traditional ways of advertising, marketers, and advertisers need to spice things up in order for their brand to have campaigns that not only make an impact but also stick to their target market’s mind.
Guerrilla Marketing usually aims to have direct contact with consumers.
This type of direct contact should spark an emotional reaction that leads to consumers effectively remembering the brand.
It’s about making a big impression and making that impression last a long time (if not forever).
Guerrilla Marketing can be inexpensive.
The effect of this is being able to create a buzz around the brand, and the strategy used to market it. Almost everything is passed around through word-of-mouth.
Word-of-mouth is one of the greatest outcomes and it usually doesn’t cost anything.
This is every business’ or brand’s dream!
Every Thursday, we publish tips, examples, and other useful content on unconventional ways of marketing and promotion.
Learn more about how to grab your target market’s attention and make an amazing first and lasting impression without having to spend a lot of money.
Businesses don’t really need to spend much for a guerrilla campaign. You do not need a big budget to be successful. You just need creativity and a good imagination.
Hope you’ve found this week’s guerrilla marketing insight interesting and helpful.
Stay tuned for next Thursday’s Gorillas of Guerrilla Marketing!
Head of Marketing
Valens Dynamic Marketing Capabilities
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