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A Singapore Viral Social Media Marketing Case Study: Flame-Grilled VS Fake-Grilled

by Willy Lim
(Co-Founder, NetProfitQuest)

April 2011 Issue of SME Magazine

April 2011 Issue of SME Magazine

April 2011 Issue of SME Magazine A Singapore Viral Social Media Marketing Case Study

Original article appears in April 2011 issue of SME & Entrepreneurship Magazine.

Few companies get it on right on social media. Among the few that understand social media marketing, even fewer do a great job executing it. Burger King is among the best of the best when it comes to viral social media marketing.

For example, on Jan 2009, Burger King in US launched a “Whopper Sacrifice” app on Facebook: Sacrifice 10 of your friends and get a free Whopper coupon. When you sacrificed a friend, a notification will be posted onto your wall and sent to your friend, causing it to become viral.

As a result of this viral campaign, more than 82,000 people “sacrificed” over 232,566 friends on Facebook. In fact, this app was so powerful that facebook has to shut down the app before more people start to delete friends!

A few weeks ago, Burger King Singapore did another really creative social media marketing campaign in response to their competitor McDonalds.

McDonalds launched a “www.MakeItBetter.sg" website to launch their teppanyaki Chicken McGrill burger. The campaign was supported by an ongoing TV commercial to create awareness, together with a “Make It 1-For-1” offer to drive conversions.

All is going well for McDonalds until Burger King decided to be cheeky and came up with a “Make It EVEN Better” campaign. Burger King launched a similarly named website at www.MakeItEvenBetter.sg to tout their BK Tendergrill Chicken burger.

Other than the similar website address, Burger King even went as far as to make the look and feel of the website similar to the McDonald’s one. However, on closer inspection, there are various very creative differences between the two campaigns. Burger King’s campaign contains various elements that are put together to ensure that it goes viral.

Viral Marketing Element 1: Taunt the Opponent
Burger King’s website opens with a taunt “Make it EVEN Better“ headline, which is a blatant rip off copy of McDonald’s “Make It Better” headline. Burger King took the taunt further with “Flame Grilled, Not Fake Grilled” and “Never Chicken Out”. Everyone loves it when an underdog taunts the incumbent: it’s the same psychology that opposition party can use in an election to sway votes!

Viral Marketing Element 2: Be Controversial or Funny or BOTH
Burger King uses a chicken with an angry look as a mascot. The Chicken is also the lead character in a funny Youtube video, showing it bashing up the other “chicken” (presumably, a representative of the opponent) and teaching it a lesson on the difference between “Flame Grilled” and “Fake Grilled” by showcasing how Burger King grills their chicken using real flames.

Here’s the Youtube video:-




Viral Marketing Element 3: Leverage on Social Media & Group Deal Website
Other than Youtube, Burger King also places strategic facebook advertisements to drive awareness and visibility.

The facebook ads drive visitors to a group deal website where visitors can download and print a coupon for redemption. Group deals are inherently viral, and Burger King leveraged on this fact to give its chicken campaign more viral lift.

Viral Marketing Element 4: Trump the Opponent’s Offer with a Time-Limited Offer
To top it off, in response to McDonald’s “Make It 1-For-1” offer, Burger King literally made it EVEN better by offering their BK Tendergrill Chicken burger at only S$1 to trump the opponent’s offer. To further improve conversion rates, this S$1 dollar offer is time-limited: valid only on 10th March 2011.

If you are wondering, at S$1 a burger, wouldn’t Burger King be losing tons of money? Well, think of it this way, Burger King saved all the money that McDonald’s spent on glossy TV advertisements, and passed the savings back to customers.

The result? Long queues at Burger King outlets in Singapore on the actual day of the offer, all trying to grab a piece of BK Tendergrill Chicken burger. And this is beautifully done without any advertisements on traditional media.

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