Burger King has proposed to rival McDonald’s that they collaborate on a joint “McWhopper” burger in the interests of world peace. A full-page open letter advertisement in the New York Times and Chicago Tribune suggests “a one-off collaboration between Burger King and McDonald’s to create something special—something that gets the world talking” about Peace One Day.
— Burger King (@BurgerKing) August 26, 2015
McWhopper sales proceeds would be donated to Peace One Day, a nonprofit group seeking to raise awareness of the International Day of Peace, which was established by the United Nations General Assembly in 1981. The nonprofit—which asks “Who will you make peace with?”—is supporting the McWhopper one-day launch on September 21st.
The joint burger for peace would “call a ceasefire on these so-called ‘burger wars'” and offer consumers a hybrid McWhopper, per Burger King’s proposal (not a new idea, by the way). “All the tastiest bits of your Big Mac and our Whopper, united in one delicious, peace-loving burger.”
Employees from both brands would sell the McWhopper on September 21 in a parking lot pop-up store in Atlanta, somewhere between a McDonald’s and a Burger King.
Fernando Machado, SVP for Global Brand Management at Burger King, said of the stunt, “We’re being completely transparent with our approach because we want them to take this seriously.”
“It would be amazing if McDonald’s agrees to do this. Let’s make history and generate a lot of noise around Peace Day,” Machado added. “If they say no, we’ll hopefully have, at the very least, raised much-needed financial support and consciousness for the great cause that is Peace One Day. And both are well worth the effort.”
Jeremy Gilley, founder of Peace One Day, praised the initiative. “Corporate activism on this scale creates mass awareness and awareness creates action and action saves lives,” he said.
The McWhopper would blend the Big Mac’s top bun and sauce with tomato slices and a 4-ounce meat patty from BK’s Whopper. Negotiating the ketchup may be thorny as McDonald’s stopped using Heinz ketchup when 3G bought the company, and there’s no word on fries on the side.
The proposal marries the best of ad smarts with the power of brand muscle—all for a good cause—even though, it seems, McDonald’s isn’t interested in Burger King’s olive branch. Missed opportunity or sound brand protection?
Below, BK’s open letter to McDonald’s —