Mask gimmick lets Burger King customers order silently
Wearing face coverings to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus is serious business and, in the U.S., it has even become a flashpoint of politicized controversy. In Belgium, however, Burger King has decided to have some fun with it.
The global burger chain has launched a social media contest in which 250 winners will receive custom-printed face masks featuring their favorite Burger King order on the front, according to Fast Company.
The humorous masks will theoretically allow those customers to enter Burger King locations and order without having to speak, preventing miscommunications that can arise from a spoken order muffled by a mask. Earlier in the pandemic, in Germany, Burger King released giant six-foot-wide novelty crowns to draw attention to social distancing in a fun way.
Since mid-March, retailers and brands have been working to find interesting angles to address mandatory masking. PPE brands, for example, have produced face guards and masks decorated with animal faces to make pandemic-era dentist trips less scary for kids. Small apparel brands have repurposed seasonal patterns into masks; luxury retailers are selling face coverings at price points above $100.
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It is no surprise that Burger King, of all the major quick-serve restaurants, would be the one to have creative fun with masks and social distancing. Burger King, both in the U.S. and globally, has garnered a reputation for irreverent and topical advertising campaigns that have differentiated it from its more stolid competitor, McDonald’s.
An advertisement featuring a moldy old burger to highlight that the chain’s new burgers are preservative-free and a Halloween-themed burger purported to cause nightmares after eating it are but some of the snarky promotions the chain has recently run in the U.S.
Abroad some of the campaigns have been even bolder. Burger King Russia, for instance, launched its own cryptocurrency at the peak of 2017’s cryptocurrency boom.
In Belgium in 2017, the chain ran a branded “Whopper Bus” shuttle to pick up customers throughout Brussels and bring them to a Burger King location.
- These Burger King-branded masks are even more useful than they seem – Fast Company
- Will a PPE retailer make it in the mall? – RetailWire
- 12 luxury face masks over $100 people are wearing just for fashion – Business Insider
- Was Burger King smart to showcase moldy Whoppers? – RetailWire
- Why is Burger King offering nightmares to go with its new sandwich? – RetailWire
- Burger King goes all crypto with its own currency – RetailWire
- Burger King buses in customers in need of a Whopper Fix – RetailWire
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Do you see lighthearted mask-related contests like Burger King’s as building goodwill and being a worthwhile marketing investment? What other similar sorts of moves might retailers, restaurants and brands take to advance their own branding and sales promotional efforts?