Burger King airdrops codes for free whoppers in Times Square

    • In celebration of its signature burger’s 65th birthday, Burger King dropped 65,000 codes for a free Whopper in Times Square and on social media on Nov. 30, per a press release.
    • Members of the Royal Perks loyalty program who turned on airdrop in Times Square and received a code can redeem the offer directly in the BK app. The codes, which are active until Dec. 7, were also available on Instagram.
    • The activation, developed with Dentsu, reflects Burger King’s ongoing emphasis on mobile loyalty, with the QSR chain’s marketing frequently centered around driving traffic to the platform.

    Burger King, recently off a rebrand, continues to try to build its mobile app as a go-to ordering method for many of its regular customers. While the code can be redeemed in store, only a certain number of codes are available, rewarding those who have the app as speed is necessary.

    The effort also underscores how marketers are once again using mobile to engage with consumers in highly trafficked public spaces like Times Square, a tactic that would not have been possible a year or two ago, when COVID restrictions were in place. Dropping the code in a high-traffic area such as Times Square can drive excitement and chatter about the brand, especially as holiday shopping kicks into high gear.

    The effort arrives after Burger King, in September, said it would put $30 million toward supporting its app and digital sales channels through 2024 as part of a broader marketing program that also allocates $120 million for advertising as it tries to build the brand and be more competitive. 

    Mobile is often seen as a key strategic advantage for QSR chains because once consumers download the app and join a loyalty program, it’s easy for them to place mobile orders and earn rewards, potentially driving repeat sales. Burger King continues to focus on its app in its marketing to drive use following the national rollout of its loyalty program last year. For Halloween this year, the chain introduced a Ghost Pepper Whopper while simultaneously debuting a “ghost detector” in its mobile app.

    The Whopper was first introduced in 1957, and the anniversary of its induction has been marked by Burger King, a Restaurant Brands International company, in many ways over the years. Last year the brand offered the burger for its original selling price of $0.37.


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