Burger King long has been known for its unusual marketing. Remember the creepy version of “The King” and goth-themed burgers? Most recently, how about the flame-grilled dog treat called the Dogpper?
Its iconic Whopper sandwich has been the vehicle for a good share of the chain’s unusual approach, including the Whopper Sacrifice campaign in which Burger King traded Whopper coupons to Facebook users who unfriended 10 people.
But Burger King has managed to come up with yet another unprecedented twist: Whopper fans have a week to go to a McDonald’s to order a Whopper. Sort of.
brb going to McDonald’s
— Burger King (@BurgerKing) December 4, 2018
In a promotion aimed at touting a new BK app that allows customers to order in advance for participating locations via mobile, the brand harnessed geofencing technology to make it possible to target willing consumers who are either within a McDonald’s restaurant or within 600 feet of one.
If the customer has the app at such a location, he or she can unlock a promotion that will allow ordering a Whopper for a penny. Then the app “detours” the customer away to the closest Burger King to pick up the sandwich.
With about 14,000 McDonald’s restaurants in the US versus only 6,000 Burger Kings, the ploy goes a long way toward actually fulfilling Burger King’s tweet that it was “turning more than 14,000 McDonald’s into Burger King restaurants.” The brand added, “Sort of.”
To promote the gimmick, Burger King tweeted a seemingly confusing message on Tuesday morning: “brb going to McDonald’s.” The chain also produced a video which shows customers rolling into a McDonald’s drive-through and confusing clerks by ordering Whoppers.
But while Burger King’s new ploy shows off geofencing technology that is sure to excite tech-oriented consumers, there’s only one problem with it: In today’s economy, who’s got time to go to two fast-food restaurants that may be (many) miles apart to pick up lunch?