- Burger King ran an immersive sweepstakes during the MTV Video Music Awards (VMAs) that asked viewers to scan a QR code with their smartphone cameras to activate an augmented reality (AR) experience, per an announcement on Twitter. The experience featured AR versions of the burger chain's mascot and rapper Lil Yachty, who appeared together in the red carpet pre-show and during the program, Campaign reported.
- Lil Yachty performed the song "Top Down" and Burger King awarded him with the Burger Fire Medallion, according to Campaign. The effort urged viewers to download the BK App and register if they hadn't already, and scan QR codes that appeared in spots throughout the awards show.
- Scanning the QR codes activated offers including a free Whopper sandwich with a $1 purchase in the BK App, and chance to win a year of free Whoppers along with tickets to the 2021 Video Music Awards. Burger King worked with digital content and experience agency Coffee to create the AR experience and with agency MullenLowe on the promotional effort, per Campaign.
Burger King's immersive sweepstakes during the VMAs sought to engage viewers with AR content while also urging them to scan QR codes for discounts and a chance to win a grand prize. The campaign could help to boost downloads for the BK App, which has been a central part of the burger chain's mobile marketing efforts in the past few years.
Apps this year have become even more crucial to quick-service brands as the coronavirus pandemic has led to the temporary closure of dining rooms or diminished capacity.
Burger King also isn't a stranger to using QR codes in its commercials to drive direct response actions from viewers. In April, a "QR Whopper" giveaway featured three commercials that showed a scannable code floating around the TV screen. Scanning the code with a smartphone brought viewers to a web page with coupons for a free Whopper with a purchase through the BK App. Burger King's VMA campaign indicates that the company was pleased with the response for that QR-enabled effort and could invest in similar efforts down the line as it looks to better blend mobile and linear media tactics.
Burger King is among the restaurant chains that have used QR codes in promotions to generate a direct response from mobile users, which helps to measure the effectiveness of those efforts. Chick-fil-A last year increased downloads of its mobile app 14% by showing a QR code in its digital signage that pointed to app stores. Steakhouse chain Blackrock Bar & Grill saw a 27% redemption rate for a mobile coupon that showed a QR code on video screens in its restaurants last year.
Burger King's other recent app-based efforts have included a free offer for its plant-based Impossible Croissan-wich to 100,000 users as part of the menu item's nationwide rollout. In June, the chain gave users of social video app TikTok a chance to get BK App discounts by posting videos of themselves doing special dance moves.
BK App ordering has become more important for Burger King's parent company Restaurant Brands International, whose revenue fell 25% to $1.05 billion in Q2 from a year earlier because of lockdowns. Burger King's same-store sales declined 13%, including a 9.9% slide in the U.S., though the company showed signs of improvement as more dining rooms reopened, CNBC reported.