Ultimately, it probably comes down to our near primal enjoyment of trash talk. From the Bounty paper towel tests to the Pepsi challenge, all the way up to brands chirping at each other on Twitter, public beefs are something people just can’t seem to get enough of. Which is why Burger King’s newest stunt exploded this week, skyrocketing the fast-feeder’s app to the top of the App Store charts and collecting bucketloads of earned media along the way. Brands like Nike and Domino’s have creatively used geo-fencing to get products into the hands of customers, but by offering one-cent Whoppers within 600 feet of any McDonald’s, “Whopper Detour” did it with the trolliest of trash-talking flare. Onward!
Burger King “Whopper Detour”
What: A geo-fencing prank that offered one-cent Whoppers for those ordered through the Burger King app… within 600 feet of a McDonald’s.
Who: Burger King, FCB New York
Why we care: Well, firstly, it’s damn good gag. It’s not the first time BK has poked fun at its golden-arched rival in recent years–remember McMansions? Scary Clown Night?–but it’s certainly the most elaborate. Earlier this week, CMO Fernando Machado told CNN the app had about 6 million downloads, with about 1 million within 36 hours of Whopper Detour.
Estrella Jalisco “Share For Good”
What: The beer brand created a ton of content to share on Facebook to influence the social network’s search algorithm into producing positive, auto-complete terms about Mexicans.
Who: Estrella Jalisco, David
Why we care: Auto-filled search results can be a dark and depressing place. Here, the AB-InBev beer brand saw a problem and figured out a way to use the platform itself to solve it. It enlisted Mexican-American artists to create Facebook pages, groups and external websites that were shared on Facebook as articles, and the more these pieces of content are shared, the more positive an influence it has.
Sonos “The Best Sounding Yule Log Ever”
What: A 90-minute yule log video that claims to sound better than any other yule log video ever made.
Who: Sonos, Anomaly New York
Why we care: As the Log Audio Expert says in the making-of video, “Single mic yule logs don’t really cut it for me.” Why only listen to the fire in one room, when you can have it blasting all over the house? Whether it’s Old Spice, Deadpool, or Lagavulin, the yule log has long been a holiday marketing tool, and here Sonos is a sweet-sounding entry into the Brand Yule Log pantheon.
National Geographic “Nujeen”
What: The inspiring story of a wheelchair-bound Syrian refugee.
Who: National Geographic, 72andSunny
Why we care: The Syrian refugee crisis may be off the front pages, but here we get an inspiring reminder that their journey continues, thanks to the story of how Nujeen and her sister fled Syria and made the 3,500-mile expedition to Germany.
Zippo “People Make An ASMR Video For the First Time”
What: A fun, and bizarrely brand-appropriate look at the weirdly wonderful world of ASMR.
Who: Zippo, BuzzFeed
Why we care: Zippo has officially trademarked its signature “click” sound, that happens when its top pops open, with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. To celebrate, it decided to dip its flaming toes into ASMR, with the help of BuzzFeed, no stranger to a sound-gasm itself. Topping it off–and because this is 2018 and if you’re going to do something cool, you gotta make it more than a one-off–Zippo has also rolled out a line of ASMR-friendly lighters.