Five Links on Friday: McWhopper

By Posted in - Five Links On Friday on August 28th, 2015 0 Comments

Apparently Thursday this week was National Burger Day, which seems to come around suspiciously often for a supposedly annual occurrence… This time at least there was some burger-themed news to celebrate the special day. Burger King reached out an olive branch to its longtime rival McDonald’s with the suggestion of joining forces to create the McWhopper:


Burger King’s idea was to mark Peace Day on September 21st by symbolically ending the “war” between the two fast food chains with a combo-burger to be served by both restaurants.

Unfortunately for Burger King (and everyone else in the burger-eating world) McDonald’s refused, declining the offer with a rather terse Facebook status:

McDonald's response

McDonald’s / Via Facebook: McDonaldsUS

And that was that.

Now, maybe this was never going to happen. I don’t know much about the logistics of the fast food industry, but getting this signed, sealed and delivered in less than a month sounds ambitious. But whatever the likelihood of this happening, I think it’s raised some interesting points about the personality and tone of voice of each brand.

Burger King went to the effort of creating a website and designing packaging for this new product, and they unveiled their idea with a lighthearted poke at the concept of the fast food war.

But McDonald’s decided to take the high road, issuing what I feel is a rather condescending response to what was clearly intended as a joke. Shutting down the idea of a joint venture while pointing out that there are more important things in the world than burgers just makes McDonald’s seem like killjoys. And that PS? That’s just sour grapes.

Now, Burger King were probably wrong to launch their idea without running it by McDonald’s first, but once the tone had been set McDonald’s really should have responded in kind. Their positive brand voice doesn’t come across in the Facebook post, and they’ll always be known as the ones who killed the McWhopper.


To distract ourselves from the loss of the mega-burger, here’s our top five interesting things from around the internet this week:

As part of this month’s theme of Experiments, Emma looks at some easy ways to experiment:

Jisc is looking at the benefits of social media in education – but what does that really mean?

Continuing our experimental theme, we’ve got a guest post from Alistair Beech about experimentation at Keele University:

Now that MOOCs have started to cement their presence in the education sector, we’re starting to see more stories of their benefits:

When is it best to stay silent on Twitter? Hootsuite have some advice:

That’s it for this week. There’ll be no Five Links post next week as we’re all out and about being very busy. Let us know if there’s anything we can help you with, and we’ll be back in two weeks!

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