- Burger King has teamed up with Warner Bros. Pictures to create a kind of anti-Valentine's Day campaign alongside the Feb. 7 release of the new film "Birds of Prey (And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn)," according to details the fast-food company shared with Marketing Dive.
- Anti-heroine Harley Quinn, who is broken up with by The Joker in the new movie, is at the center of the effort. On Feb. 14, consumers in New York City, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Boston can bring a physical photo of their ex-flame and drop it in a "Birds of Prey"-themed breakup box in order to get a free Whopper.
- Additionally, New York locations will accept former love letters and romantic gifts in exchange for the free offer. Starting Feb. 6, one location in New York will also be decorated in Harley Quinn's style, including hot pink graffiti, which the fast-food company hopes will be shared on social media with the hashtag #BurgerQuinn. Consumers not near a select location can download the BK app and complete a quiz. If they get 4 out of 5 questions correct they will receive a coupon for a $3 Whopper.
Building a promotion around the narrative of scorned lovers for Valentine's Day has the potential to connect with consumers, as fewer people are embracing the holiday these days. While 72% of 18-34 years olds and 65% of those 35-54 celebrated Valentine's Day in 2009, only half planned to do so last year, per the National Retail Federation.
Burger King also has the potential to stand apart and get noticed with counter-programming as many other brands lean into themes of romance and love for their Valentine's Day campaigns. For example, Kraft is running an irreverent campaign for its new Macaroni & Cheese Big Bowls, in which parents are encouraged to quickly and easily feed their kids so that they can get on with a romantic evening.
The experiential effort is a creative way to bring people into stores to get over their exes and potentially order additional items and increase sales. Also, by partnering with a popular film franchise, the company is taking a narrative that is already likely being discussed on social media and adding their voice to the conversation. This is a savvy way to reach film goers and connect with them via storytelling.
Burger King has had fun with irreverent Valentine’s Day promotions in the past and this latest follows in the tradition. In 2017, Burger King created an adults-only Valentine's Day happy meal, which follows in this risqué tradition of pushing buttons around this secondary holiday. This promotion is also reminiscent of the chain's 2019 "Burn That Ad" campaign that set rivals' ads aflame with AR app.