WhopperLust or WhopperBust?




photo credit: AdWeek

Burger King is giving away FREE Whoppers! Going a bit old school by some standards, Burger King has teamed up with DirectTV for an opt-in television commercial where viewers watch a hypnotizing spinning hamburger for various amounts of time to earn their coupon for a free Whopper or two or three.

Burger King Introduces WhopperLust

WhopperLust, launched on Monday exclusively on DirectTV Channel 111 prompts viewers at the top of the screen with “Whopper Lust – Get Free Whopper Sandwiches.” Using your clicker, you click on “Start Lusting” and the spot begins. Viewers are rewarded for how long they can watch the spinning Whopper as throughout the spot you are prompted to press the arrow keys on the clicker to be sure that you are really watching. After 5 minutes you have earned a coupon for 1 free Whooper. If you wish to take the 1 Whopper you have been set free from from the spinning Whopper however, if you wish to let it ride via the “Double Down” to receive 2 free Whoppers, you are to watch for an additional 10 minutes for a total of 15 minutes. If that were not enough and your palate is still not quenched, the coupon for the 3rd free Whopper requires watching for an additional 15 minutes. That is 30 minutes of a spinning Whopper that does not even hold the pickle or the lettuce.

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Traditional Advertising With A Hint of Interactive TV

Traditional advertising meets interactive tv. This concept is not new as there is the capability of interactive tv but, it is not as widely used as some advertisers would like. How would they do it? How effective is it? What will it be connected to – Facebook? Twitter? I am not so sure that any company is willing to take that “live” chance on the TV which we know is not really live unless it is in the bottom ticker and even then there can be safeguards to satisfy the station. This spot is interactive in that you use your burger king directtv channel 111clicker when prompted to ensure that you are still watching however, the coupon does not come to you via your cell phone in a text or are you given a specific code to enter to download the coupon, it is sent to you via U.S. MAIL! Yes. It is nice to see Burger King supporting the US Postal Service but, by the time the coupon comes, you have completely forgotten that you took part in this interactive tv experiment and may not redeem the coupon.

Visual Connection to Food

The visual of watching the Whopper spin around and around looks to give you that taste in your mouth just like every other commercial. This one does reward reward you (in 2-4 weeks) for staring at the same visual. What is interesting here with the coupon not provided instantly, is Burger King missing out on sales from the folks who would rush on over to Burger King to redeem and spend more? Will we see where people after watching and have earned their coupon jump in the car or go for that evening walk on over to Burger King to go and PURCHASE a Whopper? Sort of a buy one get one soon. I am sure that Burger King hopes so. But we have to wonder is watching a spinning burger enough to tantalize our taste buds to get us to take action? Is the video that powerful? Are we able to visually connect to the food that repeats the same movement to elicit such a craving that we have to rush on down there? Pregnant women will say so as will every food advertiser who sees/correlates an increase in sales due to a new commercial! But, there difference here is that the spot does not repeat the same action over and over.

WhooperLust or WhopperBust?

Viewers have so far, according to the agency behind this WhopperLust, Crispin, Porter +Bogusky, viewers have logged over 300,000 cumulative minutes since Monday morning.  Success? Maybe considering the campaign is still running however when you take into consideration that 50,000 Whoppers coupons have been given away; none of them can be redeemed as they are being sent via mail. Can we say that if they give away 500,000 coupons that this was a success? No. If the coupons are redeemed then we can say well sure, this was a great good bye kiss from CP+B in their last few weeks with this account and we can look at the sales for this week to see if there was an increase in the Whopper sales during the peak times the video was viewed. Would this then be a success? It is a commercial just like other ones but with this, you have to use the clicker and really pay attention. Lots to be learned about the habits of viewers and what they are willing to do for a coupon but at what point does it become a game to check it out and see how long people can last?

This promotion is not widely advertised. There is no mention on their website (what, no terms and conditions?), their Facebook page nor on Directtv.com.  It is interesting to note that on their wall, there is talk about changing Monday to Bunday via voting Burger King Facebook with a Like which was on Monday and then, just yesterday, there was Hit “LIKE” if you’re watching the playoffs but thinking about the WHOPPER® sandwich.” Interesting as the promotion has no mention of Facebook and did not involve Facebook but, they are promoting the Whopper on there. So, it brings us back to the question of WhopperLust or WhooperBust.

Should we take into consideration here the mix of traditional advertising with a hint of the interactive coupled with going backwards with the mailing component to gauge if this was a success? Is there even a discussion here or is there a bit of a hidden message being sent by CP+B in that it is ok that you fired us and while you think you are moving forward, you are taking many steps back?

Lastly, it should be noted that according to Northern Cheap$kate:

Note: Your DirecTV receiver needs to be connected to a phone line so that it can access your information to send you your free Whopper Coupons. Your coupons will be sent to your DirecTV billing address in 2 to 4 weeks.

Your thoughts?

  • Tom

    Can’t say I’m a fan of the whole reward you for watching ad trend. People have always proven a willingness to do stuff in exchange for free stuff. But how does this build long-term brand lust?

    Well, if nothing else I now have a good rwason to hive my 3 year old the clicker. Pretty sure he can watch for 30 min


    • Tom

      It confuses me as watch something innovative with interactive tv but wait for the rewards? It is showing what in the long term. How can you gauge results on this in short term and then looking forward to long term. I was a bit shocked to see no mention elsewhere but yet a talk up on Facebook about the Whopper itself. Sees so unorganized or maybe the results are not what matters. Going viral just to show that you can do it.

      If I was a big fan of the Whopper I would be having your 3 year old coming on over as there is no chance that would happen in this house. We have channel changes constantly here (and not by me).

  • Too bad we have DISH.

    I love Whoppers!

    No mayo. No cheese.


  • Would have been interesting to see mobile somehow incorporated here. At the end of each segment which you opt-out to see a unique code to text in to a shortcode or a QR code to scan to load a coupon onto your mobile phone which you could then use immediately. Something like this should have been the primary option, rather than the snail mail coupon.

    Now I want a burger 🙁

  • Seems to me it’s a kinda odd promotion. For once, having to receive the coupon via snail mail is totally bull. And the fact it’s not connected to any “online presence” of the brand… don’t know, either it’s a carefully planned thing (the sort of which is planned with psychologists and all) or it’s the result of departments working each for each other, without communication.

    •  Gabriele

      It is hard to say what really they were doing here. Snail? Seriously? No matter how we slice and dice this either DirecTV or Burger King is living in the past and while trying to come into the future. My best guess is to somehow take this data and use if for some sort of targeting for DirecTV. Maybe for their sales department to go to advertisers and do the same. Regardless, it is interactive however weak. Starting at a whopper moving around and around is only showing that people are willing to do for a discount. A discount that they probably never use. Win for Burger King? I would say no as you did not get the people into the stores.

  • Ftlbear

    I spend my money on Whoppers rather than Direct TV.  I wrote Burger King, as I am not being given the same opportunity for a free Whopper as those with Direct TV.  Until at least one free Whopper is given to me, I will no longer be a customer which has been once a week.

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