- Burger King is cutting holes in the middle of its burgers to create a Whopper Donut in celebration of National Donut Day on June 1, according to a news release. The fast-food chain is serving the portion cut out from the burger, or the "donut hole," as a free mini slider.
- The Whopper Donut, which the company is calling its "first flame-grilled donut ever," and mini slider will be available on National Donut Day at five U.S. locations in Boston, Miami, Los Angeles, New York City and Salt Lake City.
- For the effort, Burger King teamed with Tasty, BuzzFeed's social food vertical, on how-to videos teaching people how to make their own Whopper Donut.
Burger King's latest stunt looks to tap into consumer interest around National Donut Day, as made-up holidays and tie-up novelty items can trend on social media and boost brand chatter. Partnering with BuzzFeed allows Burger King to extend the promotion beyond the limited locations selling the Whopper Donuts and will likely enhance the brand's social media traffic, as Tasty is a publisher known for its highly-shareable content.
The simple style and overhead shots used in Tasty videos have attracted a large online following and millions of views each week. However, the popularity of this kind of content might also be on the wane, as a CrowdTangle analysis from November found that viewership of cooking how-to videos on Facebook was flat or declining.
Marketers are upping their investments in social and digital video as viewership of more traditional channels like TV continues to dip. Short videos, like Tasty's cooking content, tend to play well on mobile, in particular. Partnering with publishers on these types of efforts is also increasingly popular, as they can create native marketing content that more closely mirrors editorial offerings and feels less like overt advertisements. Paramount Network recently teamed with NowThis — which, like BuzzFeed, is a millennial-focused digital media company — on a Wikipedia edit-a-thon spotlighting a lack of women editors for the online encyclopedia.
Burger King has introduced several campaigns centered on the Whopper in recent months, perhaps feeling pressure from rival McDonald's, which is in the middle of a heavy marketing push around a new value menu and is introducing fresher beef into its burgers. In Peru, Burger King hid Whoppers inside boxes of popcorn to skirt movie theater rules and, in Romania, it encouraged fans to exchange their boarding passes for Whoppers at the country's lone Burger King location past the security check at the Bucharest International Airport.