Burger King ‘peace offering’: An olive branch laced with poison

Andy GreenawayFar from extending an ‘olive branch’ to McDonalds, Asia Pacific creative Andy Greenaway argues that Burger King was merely taunting its rival with its idea to create a McWhopper – and McDonalds fell into the trap.

When I saw this, I thought to myself, “What a brilliant idea. Definitely a Grand Prix at Cannes next year”.

Then my cynical side started kicking in. When you look deeper into what they’ve done, it’s insincere.

The reality is this: Burger King have laid a trap that McDonalds can’t get out of. If McDs agree to the stunt, they look weak, unoriginal and subservient (like the famous chicken). If they refuse to engage, they look callous, detached and uncaring.

Perhaps if one CEO had called the other and agreed to make it a joint idea, that would be different. It would be correct protocol, polite and sincere.

But to write a public letter, and then create a whole website, with slickly made videos, to ‘educate’ McDonalds on the merits of the idea, is taunting and ingenuous.

Unfortunately, McDonalds have fallen into the trap with a facebook response by their CEO Steve Easterbrook, who gives a snub, thinly disguised as a willingness to collaborate. People on social media have seen through the insincerity and are airing their disappointment at McDonalds’ refusal to play.

Burger King’s marketing department must be jumping with glee. Their ruse has worked. They are already being seen as the good guys and McDonald’s as the bad.

The campaign, it seems, has been designed to annoy, taunt and ultimately humiliate McDonalds. Aren’t they the very things that create conflict?

The sad thing is, a noble organization like Peace One Day, has been dragged into a petty war under the premise of a peaceful act.

That in itself leaves a bitter taste in the mouth.

Andy Greenaway is executive creative director Asia Pacific at SapientNitro


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