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Spotlight on "The Whopper Detour" Campaign by Burger King


In the fast-food industry, where competition is fierce and brands are vying for consumer attention, innovative marketing campaigns can make a significant impact. Burger King, a global chain of hamburger fast food restaurants, has been known for its clever and sometimes cheeky marketing campaigns. One such campaign that garnered widespread attention and accolades was "The Whopper Detour" campaign launched in 2018.

The Whopper Detour: A Bold Move

The Concept

"The Whopper Detour" was a campaign that ingeniously used geofencing to promote the Burger King app. The concept was simple yet bold: Burger King created a virtual geofence around its rival McDonald’s locations. When customers entered one of these geofenced areas and had the Burger King app on their phone, they were sent a notification offering them a Whopper for just one cent – but only if they ordered it while still within the McDonald's location.

The Execution

The campaign was executed using a mobile app and geofencing technology. When a customer with the Burger King app entered a 600-feet radius of a McDonald's restaurant, the app would unlock the Whopper-for-a-penny deal. However, to redeem it, customers had to place the order while still within the vicinity of McDonald’s and then head to the nearest Burger King to pick it up.

The Impact

The Whopper Detour was a massive success for several reasons:

  • Engagement: It engaged customers in an interactive and fun way, encouraging them to participate actively.

  • App Downloads: The campaign drove over 1.5 million app downloads, catapulting the Burger King app to number one on both Google Play and the Apple App Store.

  • Sales Boost: Burger King saw a significant boost in sales and customer traffic as a direct result of the campaign.

  • Brand Visibility: The campaign generated massive media coverage and social media buzz, enhancing brand visibility.

The Genius Behind the Campaign

Leveraging Technology

Burger King effectively utilized technology to create a unique customer experience. The use of geofencing was innovative in the fast-food marketing space and showcased how brands could leverage technology to drive customer engagement and sales.

Tapping into Rivalry

The campaign smartly tapped into the long-standing rivalry between Burger King and McDonald’s, creating a buzz and sparking conversations across various platforms.

Encouraging Participation

By offering a Whopper for a cent, Burger King not only encouraged app downloads but also physical visits to its outlets, thereby driving sales directly.


"The Whopper Detour" campaign stands out as a brilliant example of how brands can use technology and a bit of playful rivalry to create a marketing campaign that not only boosts sales but also generates widespread media attention and social conversations. It demonstrates the power of thinking outside the box – or in this case, outside the burger joint – and leveraging existing consumer behaviors and brand rivalries to create a successful marketing strategy.


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