Social Marketing Example #1: Burger King Real Meals

Laura Pryor 07/24/19 - 1:27 pm

When you think of creative social marketing that champions the greater good, Burger King probably isn’t top of mind.

Back in the 70s, the folks at Burger King urged us to “Have it your way” in this cheesy TV ad, complete with a singing cashier wearing an absolutely ridiculous hat (kids, be glad you didn’t have to work at Burger King in the ‘70s).

But in May of 2019, Burger King turned to a more serious topic: mental health. Partnering with Mental Health America, they created “Unhappy Meals” – a cheeky take on their golden arch rival McDonald’s Happy Meal. In select markets, BK offered The Blue Meal, the DGAF Meal, the Pissed Meal, the Salty Meal and the YAAAS Meal, all in boxes that matched the mood. They promoted the meals with this music-video-like film, aired online, which urges viewers to “Feel Your Way” – a twist on their ‘70s slogan. The message: No one’s happy all the time. It’s okay to feel sad, pissed, or apathetic.

Why we love it:

It takes some real creativity to come up with an idea that raises awareness for a good cause, reminds people of your past slogan, and takes a jab at your biggest competitor at the same time. While BK got some backlash from some who said they were using a cause to sell burgers, the campaign wasn’t designed as a money maker – the meals were only offered in 5 Burger King restaurants.  But the stunt got plenty of media attention and thousands of shares on social media, achieving BK’s goal: awareness for mental health issues.

This is post #1 in our blog series, 17-wow-worthy social marketing campaigns.

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