Burger King offers penny Whoppers, but there's a McDonald's catch

Burger King wants its customers to take a detour to its biggest competitor, and the reward will be a Whopper for one penny.

>> Read more trending news

What? Buy a Whopper at McDonald’s?

Not quite. But to celebrate its new mobile app, the "Whopper Detour," which debuted Tuesday and sends customers to McDonald's locations, where they can order Burger King's Whopper for one cent through Dec. 12, Adweek reported.

"We love ideas that when the idea gets to us we say 'How the heck are we going to pull this off?'" Marcelo Pascoa, Burger King's global head of brand marketing, told AdAge.

Customers do not have to physically walk into a McDonald's or use the Golden Arches' drive-thru lane. Burger King's smartphone app will allow anyone within 600 feet of one of the 14,000 McDonald's restaurants nationwide to order a Whopper for one cent, Adweek reported. After placing an order, the app will "detour" customers to the nearest Burger King to claim that deeply discounted Whopper, Thrillist reported.

The "Whopper Detour" needed some savvy technical know-how to be a success. The campaign from FCB New York had to geofence nearly every McDonald's restaurant in the U.S., AdAge reported.

"We know that McDonald's is practically everywhere," Pascoa told the website.

Burger King even has a snarky video that shows customers telling baffled McDonald's employees (whose faces are blurred in the video) that they were there to buy their Whoppers.

In a final jab at its rival -- and one its rival's slogan, touted coast to coast -- a print ad shows the arm of Burger King's king changing a McDonald's "Billions Served" sign to "Billions Swerved," AdAge reported.

McDonald’s could have the last laugh, however. If there are glitches in the Burger King app, potential customers could abandon the Whopper for a Big Mac, since they are in the vicinity.

But Burger King is banking on its troll-like campaign to get more people to use the app and buy more Whoppers.

About the Author