When launching its new app in the U.S. in 2018, Burger King and FCB New York created Whopper Detour, which drove people from its main competitor McDonald’s to get a one-cent burger. It was one in a long line of stunts from the brand that come from various agencies.
In the United Arab Emirates, Wunderman Thompson Dubai is one of the brand’s agencies and looked to make a splash of its own for Burger King’s app launch in the country. Taking a page from a challenging part of the economic zeitgeist, salary cuts due to the pandemic, the agency developed a utility that allows users to create their own discount.
Pay Cut Whopper takes the percentage (up to 30%) of salary lost—on the honor system—and creates a bespoke discount for the duration of the loss, up to three months. For example, if someone lost 20% of their salary for two months, the discount applies for that entire time.
“We’re in this together is a common refrain in these times,” said Khaled Al Ghamdi, vice president at Olayan Food Company, which operates the franchises in the UAE. “But we wanted to back this up with something more definite. With the ‘Pay Cut Whopper,’ we hope to add some positivity to people’s everyday lives by cutting down the costs of enjoying their favorites from the Home of the Whopper.”
While one might feel warm and fuzzy about a huge burger brand’s benevolence, there is a legitimate business play here, as mobile ordering and delivery continue to grow at a hefty clip. However, the project is very much on brand for Burger King and continues the populist refrain while moving quickly to create something relevant in the moment.
“Our aim was to be innovative while being more relatable and human at the same time,” said Pablo Maldonado, ecd at Wunderman Thompson Dubai. “People today are ordering in at home to create moments similar to eating out. So this possibility could help them have many more such ‘get-togethers’ with family and friends. Plus, it adds a welcome new format of promo to the famed BK experience.”