In an unusually passive-aggressive and short-lived advertising campaign, Burger King proposed a day of "peace" with McDonald's via a Whopper–Big Mac burger mashup called the "McWhopper," which would be available for just one day at just one pop-up location. McDonald's quickly rejected the idea by Wednesday morning.
The country's second-biggest burger chain suggested "a burger war ceasefire" via full-page ads in the New York Times and the Chicago Tribune on Wednesday, saying proceeds would go to a nonprofit that's drawing awareness to Peace Day on Sept. 21. The company's promotional materials noted: "McDonald's has not yet authorized or accepted this proposal."
"Our invitation might be unexpected, but it's 100% sincere," McWhopper.com, a website created by Burger King for the stunt, states.
McDonald's, however, didn't take kindly to the public offer — and suggested that Burger King should not compare their rivalry to "the unequaled circumstances of the real pain and suffering of war."
So much for joining forces.
Here's a response from McDonald's CEO. "A simple phone call will do next time," he said.
We don't really know much about the ill-fated "McWhopper," except that it would have been a hamburger.
Burger King has recently enjoyed growth as McDonald's struggles to turn around its business, and its latest stunt will likely heighten the tensions between the fast food competitors.
It's worth noting, however, that McDonald's remains by far the larger of the two chains. In 2014 it had roughly 14,300 U.S. locations, compared to Burger King's 7,100 stores. And its U.S. sales of $35.4 billion were about four times Burger King's, according to data from QSR magazine.
Here's the original ad Burger King placed in the New York Times and the Chicago Tribune about the idea.
Venessa Wong is a business reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York. Wong covers the food industry.
Contact Venessa Wong at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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