What made Burger King’s Moldy Whopper the shocking success that it is?
Well, the unconventional Burger King campaign, “Moldy Whopper” has won at least 3 awards with more accolades streaming in as we speak, including the:
- Epica Awards’ Triple Grand Prix awards in PR, Film, Print (2020)
- D&AD Black Pencil award for PR (2020)
- The One Show – Gold Pencil for Print (2020)
Watch the Moldy Whopper timelapse video ad above that’s erupted to become the talk of the town when it first launched.
The campaign is said to have joined the list of iconic classics of advertising that will be talked about decades from now.
The Moldy Whopper campaign drove sales up by +14% and boosted awareness of the removal of artificial preservatives by +400%.
It also resulted in at least 8.4 billion impressions and gave Burger King $40 million in earned media!
Here are 5 key insights we gleaned from Burger King’s Moldy Burger campaign to uncover what made it a shocking success:
1) ‘Product-market fit first, then marketing’.
So they had this great campaign idea – what do you do? Go for it?
Well, only when your product lives up to its promise.
Burger King’s CMO, Fernando Machado had revealed in several interviews, how they intentionally put off this great advertising campaign idea for a few years to truly deliver on the promise of being 100% preservative free first. Understanding what the market wanted; ie. healthy GMO-free real food and also, the importance of authentic and truthful messaging – they decided to embark on the behemoth task of recreating the whopper to truly be preservative-free.
Needless to say, it required strategic buy-in at the top and a coordinated transformation across the organization from operations, product development, procurement globally before ever being able to live up to its preservative-free promise much less publicizing it.
But couple that with an impactful and well-crafted story? Boom!
2) Building Burger King’s strong brand identity took clarity and consistency over time.
What did it take for Burger King to go from “zero to hero” or should we say “zero to moldy”? Well, it certainly didn’t happen overnight. It took years to build Burger King’s brand personality as a bold brand and it certainly didn’t start with the “moldy whopper” campaign.
Built on the understanding that “no one wants to watch ads anymore”, CMO Machado intentionally embarked on a journey since 2014 to create content that was made to stand out – his key direction to his creative team and partner agencies?
In fact, over the years, the board of management were getting used to the daring and edgy approach that Machado was pushing for that they were mentally primed to accept the discomfort that usually accompanied their chosen unconventional approach. And hit a nerve- they surely did.
Check out some of the other bold work they’ve done which include the “Most Liked branded tweet in 2018 when they responded to Kanye West” and the political whopper campaign ad in the UK.
3) Burger King’s focus on keeping their core product, the Whopper strong.
In a highly competitive fast food world that’s dominated by players like McDonalds with an arsenal of marketing dollars to flood the market, Burger King has to play their marketing game wisely. Spreading their advertising artillery thin will dilute impact, and it is for this reason that the whopper, Burger King’s star product remains at the forefront of their ad spend.
The Whopper is Burger King’s core and they intentionally devoted their energies and efforts to keeping their flagship or core product strong, which has paid off, in further elevating the brand as a whole. Better a confirmed hit, than multiple misses.
4) Burger King unleashed the power of multi-talented creatives to elevate their storytelling in the Mouldy Whopper campaign.
The Mouldy Whopper campaign was the collaborative work of at least 33 creatives across the following 3 agencies; INGO Stockholm, David The Agency Miami and Publicis and production house Colony.
This approach of giving full creative license to teams of specialists to do what they each do best with their distinct expertise so as to collectively team up and deliver truly exceptional work is one that many brands may struggle with.
The rise of micromanagement on the part of clients which end up stifling their team’s creative spirit or finesse or the tendency of some clients in working with generalists who may dabble in several areas, but end up being rather average in quality each area due to a lack of depth and exposure to any one field, will not surmount to the kind of quality that brands require for their messaging to stand out.
Want to work with expert creative talents to elevate your brand’s story? Learn more about how Independents is innovating to connect world class teams that best fit your marketing project.
5) Focus on one goal and be comfortable to fail at other short-term secondary goals.
It must be noted that till today, marketers are still split on whether the “moldy whopper” was a success. In a study by Ace Metrics for instance, it was found that Moldy Whopper did not induce instant cravings among gen pop viewers – with about 26% who indicated they were turned off from purchasing this burger. This is no surprise given that the ad triggered strong emotional responses – with “riveting”, “gross” being amongst the buzz reactions right after. And yet, in the attention span metric, it performed 10% better than average, with the “no preservatives” message standing out as the “Single Best thing” highlighted about the ad (although the option of choosing “nothing about this ad” was available). Burger King’s single-minded focus of leaving a memorable impression and successfully deploying shock tactics to deliver their key message of whoppers being natural food makes it a shocking success, anyday.
This is supported by YouGov’s research of more than 2,000 consumers which found that “consideration to visitation” rates increased by 22.8% after watching this ad.
Bonus? The fact that 3% of viewers made a direct favourable comparison of the whopper relative to McDonalds despite there being no direct comparison made (perhaps a natural (and intended?) outcome in line with Burger King’s characteristic jabs at fast food competitors in the past).
What is your take on the “Moldy Whopper” campaign?
Yay or nay? Let us know in the comments section!
I’m gone to say to my little brother, that he should also visit this website on regular
basis to obtain updated from newest reports.
Hey I am so thrilled I found your weblog, I really found you by accident, while I was researching on Google
for something else, Anyhow I am here now and would just like to say
thanks a lot for a fantastic post and a all round interesting blog (I
also love the theme/design), I don’t have time
to browse it all at the minute but I have saved it and also
added your RSS feeds, so when I have time I will
be back to read more, Please do keep up the excellent jo.
truly an educational guide
My blog – Linochol.Com
Hello! I know this is sort of off-topic however I had to ask.
Does operating a well-established website like
yours require a massive amount work? I am completely
new to operating a blog but I do write in my journal every day.
I’d like to start a blog so I can share my personal experience and thoughts online.
Please let me know if you have any suggestions or
tips for new aspiring blog owners. Thankyou!
Touche. Outstanding arguments. Keep up the good effort.
Pretty! This has been a really wonderful post.
Thank you for providing these details.
Here is my web-site blog tutorial (Irving)
I constantly spent my half an hour to read this blog’s articles or
reviews every day along with a cup of coffee.
This is really interesting, You’re a very skilled blogger.
I’ve joined your feed and look forward to seeking more of your
magnificent post. Also, I’ve shared your website in my social networks!
My partner and I stumbled over here coming from a different web address and thought I may as
well check things out. I like what I see so i am just following you.
Look forward to checking out your web page repeatedly.
Excellent way of explaining, and pleasant article to get data concerning my presentation subject matter, which i am going to convey in university.|
If some one wishes to be updated with most up-to-date
technologies afterward he must be pay a quick visit
this web site and be up to date all the time.
Wow! Good Piece of Info
Do you have a spam issue on this site; I also am a blogger,
and I was curious about your situation; we have created
some nice practices and we are looking to trade solutions with others,
please shoot me an e-mail if interested.
I delight in, cause I found just what I used to be
having a look for. You have ended my 4 day long hunt!
God Bless you man. Have a nice day. Bye
Great post! We are linking to this particularly great post on our website.
Keep up the good writing.
This is very attention-grabbing, You’re an overly professional blogger.
Ihave joined your feed annd stay up for looking for more of your wonderful post.
Additionally, I’ve shared your web site in my social networks
Feel free too sudf to my web-site; 먹튀검증소
Everything is very open with a really clear description of
the challenges. It was truly informative. Your website is very helpful.
Thanks for sharing!
Why viewers still use to read news papers when in this technological world everything is existing on web?
This site definitely has all the information and
facts I wanted concerning this subject and didn’t
know who to ask.
Good post. I learn something new and challenging on sites I stumbleupon every day.
It will always be helpful to read through content from other
writers and practice a little something from other websites.
Wonderful items from you, man. I have take note your stuff previous to and you’re just too magnificent.
I really like what you have obtained right here, really like what you are stating and the way in which you say it.
You make it enjoyable and you continue to care for to stay
it smart. I cant wait to read much more from you. This is really
a great web site.
It’s truly very difficult in this active life
to listen news on Television, therefore I just use web for that purpose, and get the
It’s going to be ending of mine day, however before end I am reading this wonderful post to improve my experience.
I have been surfing online more than 2 hours today, yet I never found any
interesting article like yours. It is pretty
worth enough for me. In my opinion, if all site owners and
bloggers made good content as you did, the web will be much
more useful than ever before.
Hey there! Quick question that’s entirely
off topic. Do you know how to make your site mobile
friendly? My site looks weird when browsing from my iphone4.
I’m trying to find a template or plugin that might be able to resolve this problem.
If you have any suggestions, please share. Many thanks!