This morning, in a release and full-page open letter-style ad in the Chicago Tribune and New York Times, Burger King publicly proposed a truce of sorts to its main rival, McDonald's. The King politely suggested the two companies join forces in these difficult times to do what no right-minded corporate burger cog would ever do: Combine the companies' respective signature sandwiches into something called the McWhopper. It was a royal gesture, complete with marketing plan and packaging design, perfectly fit — if not for any kind of actual collaboration or truce — for a media frenzy.
Burger King purchased a website address, wrote a detailed letter, and sent the media descriptions of the plot in detail. The McWhopper, a mash-up of the Big Mac® and the WHOPPER®, would be "a burger that combines all the tastiest ingredients" from the companies respective signature sandwiches, and would be released on Peace Day (September 21). The gesture would signal to the world that the burger giants had "set aside their differences" and united under "one delicious, peace-loving burger." Burger King further suggested, perhaps knowing that such a collaboration would require an inordinate amount of planning and coordination, that the two companies sell the new combo burger at just one location in Atlanta, Georgia "with the objective of raising awareness of Peace Day."
Business Insider spoke with a rep at Burger King who denied it was a PR or marketing stunt. Fernando Machado, SVP for Global Brand Management at Burger King, insisted "that this invitation is more than a PR stunt, and has expressed the hope that McDonald's responses favorably."
With bated breath, the world waited just a few hours before McDonald's, proving it has no sense of humor, shut the whole thing down with a simple Facebook post.
And so died Burger King's dreams of the McWhopper. Too bad, so sad. Still, at least Burger King's sales are up while McDonald's flounders.