The Story Of Burger King's Ill-Fated McWhopper

With the abundance of fast food joints out there, businesses need to offer something special, and at the Golden Arches that has always been the legendary Big Mac. Burger King has its Whopper, but it's tough to compete with the hype of McDonald's double-decker cheeseburger. In 1977 they even went as far as poaching McDonald's senior vice president. The Big Mac seems destined to remain pop culture's favorite go-to burger, and Burger King has struggled to measure up. Back in August 2015, Burger King's marketing team went rogue and proposed the two rivals release the McWhopper on World Peace Day as a playful, backward way to make amends. The McWhopper was presented exactly as it sounds; half Big Mac, half Whopper. Sadly, the whopper never saw the light of day.

The slapstick campaign hardly lasted 24 hours before McDonald's rejected it, but it managed to create some serious buzz while it lasted. Burger King really committed to the concept, launching an entire website and printing full-page adverts in huge publications. The idea was to join forces for one exclusive pop-up showcasing the McWhopper, with all proceeds going to the non-profit organization Peace One Day. As Burger King declared in their open letter to McDonald's, "Let's end the beef, with beef."

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McDonald's former CEO Steve Easterbrook responded with professionalism and a dash of sass, sharing in a since-deleted FaceBook post that while they appreciate the sentiment they believe the two rivals can "do something bigger to make a difference." The now-defunct McWhopper website stated that the proposition was "100% sincere," but publicly inviting them to team up through paid advertising doesn't really scream sincere. The cross-bred cheeseburger was a pretty clear PR stunt and not a bad one at that. While fine print disclosed that McDonald's hadn't agreed to collaborate, the satirical advertisement got people talking.

The feud between McDonald's and Burger King has been heated for generations, with countless jabs thrown between the two burger titans. Burger King made its debut in 1954, just a year before the first official McDonald's franchise, and it didn't take long for the face-off to begin. Burger King's 1970s motto "Have it your way" was seemingly a dig at McDonald's lack of customization. Years later, Burger King wasn't as subtle with a commercial calling out Mickey D's for having smaller burgers. This ignited a battle of egos resulting in multiple lawsuits. Given Burger King's history of outrageous campaigns like the left-handed Whopper, there's no telling how far BK was willing to take the shtick. If McDonald's had said yes to the McWhopper would we be looking at McDonald's King signs today?