I have been thinking about this article for a couple of weeks now. As many people will know already, Burger King offered McDonald’s an olive branch for one day in order to celebrate the International day of the Peace (21st of September).
The idea was to mix the best of McDonald’s and the best of Burger King in a new burger called McWhopper that will be served in a restaurant in Atlanta opened only for the occasion. Burger King communicated its idea though a video and an open-letter reproduces by several newspapers such as The New York Times. The action went viral in no-time. However, McDonald’s said no, in a controversial decision that has saddened the fans of both brands.
In a Facebook post; McDonald’s CEO exposed its reasons to decline the offer:
To be honest, the reasons of McDonald’s seem logical to me. It also looks like Steve Easterbrook was not very happy with the way in which Burger King communicated the idea. Let’s be honest, did Burger King took advantage of the situation? Sure. By a communicating strategy based in inform its competitor public, Burger King was not leaving any space to negotiation. Burger King was showing itself as a gigantic company with a good idea in which they will “allow” McDonald’s to participate. The communication strategy left McDonald’s as a “supporting actor”, which is probably what they didn’t like about it.
However, was it a good decision to dismiss the proposal in a brief Facebook post? In my opinion, not the best one.
This communication strategy leaves McDonald’s stays as the downer of the party while Burger King is the good one, the peace seeker. As it could be seen from Twitter (where the topic was international TT) fans of both companies were exciting with the idea and there was a general disappointment when McDonald’s refused to do it. I consider Burger King’s idea to be great. Cheeky, but great. And McDonald’s is supposedly a funny company after all and it should be up for a challenge. Even if it has been a imposed one. The repercussion in terms of reputation and brand impact for both companies would have been huge, even in terms of free publicity.
Probably another proposal from McDonald’s to balance the power and the contribution of both brands would have been enough. Or a public agreement between both companies to take some actions to celebrate the 21st of September. After all, does not everyone want the peace? Even between brands?
What do you think? Did McDonald’s made the right decisions? What would you have liked to happen? Comment below!