To start off, I’ll explain that Peace One Day is a non-profit organization that started out in 1999 with the objective of institutionalizing the date September 21st as Peace Day, which supports ceasefire and non-violence. The United Nations jumped on board in 2001 and used their influence to spread the word of Peace Day and enforce intercultural cooperation on a scale that humanity has never known.
In honor of Peace Day, Burger King had the wonderful idea of ending the “burger wars” by partnering with McDonald’s to create the McWhopper and combine the two leading fast food chains. But, instead of directly asking McDonald’s about their decision to be a part of this collaboration, Burger King stirred up some drama by sending out two full-page advertisements, one placed in the New York Times and the other in the Chicago Tribune, asking McDonald’s about said truce in honor of Peace Day, creating a lot of publicity and pressure for McDonald’s to say yes.
In response, McDonald’s CEO, Steve Easterbrook, declined the offer, but said it was a “great idea” and hopes that maybe BK will join them in their global activism instead. At the end of this Facebook post he sassily added, “P.S. A simple phone call will do next time,” which made me actually LOL. However in its place, several other chains enthusiastically jumped into action. Be prepared for the terrible sandwich puns I have cooked up for this.
The four other companies include: Krystal, Wayback Burgers, Giraffas (a Brazilian chain with 10 Florida locations), and Denny’s. I guess you could say that these other companies will be “settling the beef” by joining Burger King in creating the Peace Burger, which will combine a key ingredient from each of the other fast food chain’s signature sandwiches. Burger King has set up a pop-up restaurant in Atlanta to host this Peace Burger on September 21st, and all of the proceeds will go to the Peace One Day charity.
Now you may be wondering why McDonald’s didn’t accept this delicious offer. I could be completely off base here, but I think it’s kind of suspicious that Burger King would drop $199,000 on those ads directed towards McDonald’s if they weren’t expecting some kind of return of investment. I think that by making their offer public like that, Burger King is not only raising their brand awareness but it puts McDonald’s in the spotlight too. By being under this pressure McDonald’s is in a catch-22 because if they accept then they’re just following BK’s campaign move, but if they reject them they look like the bad guy.
Burger King’s rather sneaky PR strategy probably annoyed McDonald’s CEO, along with their entire PR
department, since they were blindsided amidst public scrutiny. I think it’s ironic that to keep their dignity as the number one fast food chain McDonald’s had to turn them down; making it even more of a competition between them. In light of this information, I think that it was definitely not a “mis-steak” for McDonald’s to decline Burger King’s spiteful offer.
You can be the judge as to what the true intents for this burger merger were to begin with, but it is a great idea regardless that will raise a lot of money for an important cause. To be honest, I don’t know how they are going to combine the ingredients of these sandwiches without making a complete mess, but I can’t wait to try it out in honor of #PeaceDay.