A Burger King artist's rendering of the "McWhopper."
Burger King is running full-page ads in today’s New York Times and Chicago Tribune that ask McDonald’s — the Taylor Swift to its Katy Perry — for a daylong end to the bad blood. In fact, BK suggests the two should come together, take the “best” parts of their Whopper and Big Mac, and create one big “unthinkable” fusion burger called the McWhopper. The ploy is a marketing gimmick, of course, complete with a dedicated website, #settlethebeef hashtag, and “ceasefire treaty.” One upside: Sales would benefit a charitable cause: On the proposed day, September 21 — a.k.a. International Day of Peace — profits would go toward the awareness group, Peace One Day.
The logistics: Burger King suggests selling the McWhoppers at a pop-up in Atlanta, the midpoint between the companies’ headquarters in Miami and Oak Brook, Illinois. The facility would be run by both sets of employees, rival groups under one roof who’d dress in Two-Face–style with half-red, half-brown uniforms. As for the sandwich itself that’d of course, be the tricky part, but Burger King has offered up a suggestion:
Ingredients would naturally get split 50/50 — six apiece between the Whopper (flamed-grilled patty, tomato, onion, pickles, ketchup, bottom bun) and the Big Mac (top bun, all-beef patty, cheese, lettuce, middle bun, special sauce) — for a very tall two-in-one sandwich that delivers uneven bun sizes and twice the meh. Burger King says everything’s up for discussion, “from the name right through the packaging,” adding: “The only thing we can’t change is the date, so let’s talk soon.”
This seems fine, and like a not-bad idea. But McDonald’s has already issued its no-fun response, which the company hustled out this morning. It sounds like the company didn’t know anything about this before today (or before whenever the Times reporter called). Sadly, CEO Steve Easterbrook is determined to kill the McWhopper before it even has a shot:
Dear Burger King,
Inspiration for a good cause … great idea.
We love the intention but think our two brands could do something bigger to make a difference.
We commit to raise awareness worldwide, perhaps you’ll join us in a meaningful global effort?
And every day, let’s acknowledge that between us there is simply a friendly business competition and certainly not the unequaled circumstances of the real pain and suffering of war.
We’ll be in touch.
-Steve, McDonald’s CEO
P.S. A simple phone call will do next time.