Last Tuesday, the prestigious Cannes Lion Awards, considered by many the gold standard for industry recognition in advertising, twice recognized the McWhopper campaign, ideated by Young & Rubicam New Zealand.
As part of RockOrange’s ongoing relationship with Burger King, our team was recognized for its work to deliver a robust issue management process just in case the call for peace didn’t go according to plan. RockOrange also worked closely with Burger King’s other agencies on marketing ideation and materials review.
The Grand Prix awards, won in the media and print & publishing categories, went for the revolutionary campaign that saw Burger King bring competitors to the table to put aside their petty differences and raise money for the cause of peace.
“I think our Grand Prix reflects so much of what it good about the industry,” said jury president Nick Waters, CEO of Dentsu Aegis Network Asia Pacific, in an interview with AdWeek. “This is a case of a big brand. And big brands sometimes find it difficult to move quickly. This is a case of a big brand taking on an even bigger competitor, moving quickly, being bold, acting within the brand, acting cheekily, reacting to events, bringing consumers in.”
The campaign began with an open letter to McDonalds CEO Steve Easterbrook, offering an olive branch in the form of a shared burger in honor of Peace Day. The burger would use ingredients from both McDonalds Quarter Pounder sandwich and Burger King’s Whopper sandwich. The chains would meet in Atlanta—a midway point between the brands’ respective headquarters in Illinois and Miami—and open a McWhopper pop-up, with proceeds going to Peace One Day, a non-profit organization dedicating to spreading peace.
And while archrival McDonalds refused Burger King’s overtures, other fast casual and quick service restaurant brands like Denny’s, Wayback Burger, Krystal and Giraffas all opted into the campaign, successfully creating the Peace Whopper.
This is far from the first recognition for RockOrange, which earned a nod for PR News’ ‘Facebook PR Campaign of the Year’ in April, and was named ‘New Agency of the Year’ by the Bulldog Reporter and The Holmes Report in 2014.
The Cannes Lion Grand Prix awards were accepted by Young & Rubicam New Zealand, who conceived the campaign. Agency partners Code & Theory, Alison Brod Public Relations and The David Agency were recognized as well.