Thursday, November 20, 2008

Burger King Loses Their Wallet on This One.

You're out for your lunch break and you're walking downtown to grab a quick bite. Your eye catches a dropped wallet in the middle of the street. Depending on your moral standing you either hit the jackpot or you have an opportunity to save the day. A few people are walking by and checking it out, but you end up being the one to finally pick it up. What you find is a bit unexpected.

I've caught a few blogs (HERE, HERE, & HERE) in the last few days bringing focus on a new guerrilla marketing campaign that Burger King has put out in some major cities like Chicago and Orlando. (We never get any love out here in KC.)

The breakdown here is that Burger King is dropping 5000 of their King Wallets all over major cities. The contents include an actual ID of The King himself, a map of local Burger Kings, a joke receipt for pinky rings and most importantly a gift card as well as up to $100 in actual cash. Nice!

This is going to get lots of buzz. After finding the first blog covering this, I noticed that the blogger was giving Burger King a ton of praise being a bit ass kissy and I'll admit, it took me back. My response was a snarky and precise, "So the hell what?" What did they do that was new? This is just text book street marketing right?

After sleeping on it, I figured out what my major malfunction was. I was basically pissed because I didn't think of it first. That tends to happen in our business. We understand the guts of how this marketing works and when we see an old trick, our first instinct is to shrug and roll our eyes. Truth is, itt isn't new. It is text book guerrilla. That's ok and that's why it's working, but their is something else going on.

Bloggers are putting giant speakers on word of mouth and that is what fuels guerrilla.

5 years ago it would have gone down a lot differently. Burger King would have dropped the wallets and the PR dept. would have been chunking out press releases, hoping for a hit on the nightly news or in a local paper or magazine. Marketers would have been happy w/ whatever press they got, and the rest of buzz would have been assumed, but you would never know if your wallets went out to the homeless or to connectors.

Today they can drop the wallets and their PR dept sits back and lets bloggers do their work for them. It's just odds working themselves out. With so many people blogging now, the chance of a blogger picking up a wallet or someone they're close to is pretty damn good, as proven by this stunt. We can see it now in real time. How badass is that?

A few blogs are written, someone tosses one of those blogs to and bingo, you got yourself some major coverage! In less than a day, the wallets story has gotten almost 2000 hits on Digg. That puts it on the main pageand that means it's going to hit mainstream.

Bravo Burger King. I dig your style and you've brought faith back into the future of marketing in the tall grass. You weren't innovative, but you were effective. Hell, I'm still pissed I didn't do it myself.