Mashup Marketing: The Peace Day Burger

Mashup Marketing: The Peace Day Burger


Burger King, in an open letter and in celebration of The International Day of Peace (September 21), proposed a ceasefire to the ongoing burger war it has waged with McDonald’s. The Peace Day Burger would “blend the best bits of the Whopper and Big Mac” to create the “McWhopper.” The letter ran in full-page ads in The New York Times and Chicago Tribune, and Burger King even built a website and posted YouTube videos explaining the logic and potential assembly of this mashup burger. 

Unfortunately, the powers that be at Mickey D’s didn’t go for it. It’s unfortunate for us, because we at Mercantile are burger fans, and we’d really like to sink our teeth into a McWhopper. And it’s unfortunate for McDonald’s because their response has been characterized as out-of-touch and unimaginative.

However, this rejection has proven fortunate for Burger King. Since the McWhopper was nixed, four other fast food icons have submitted their own proposals for collaborations. Denny’s, Krystal, Wayback Burgers, and Girraffas have all expressed interest in creating their own mashups with the King of burgers (our favorite burger-to-be, for what it’s worth, is the Whoppaslamus-rex from Denny’s). Burger King has taken all comers and, as far as we know, the Peace Day Burger 2015 will go forward. Where you’ll be able to get your hands on said burger remains unknown thus far.

Now, what Burger King did is pretty ingenious. Their open letter proposal to McDonald’s was a win-win. If McDonald’s had accepted, they each would have received double the exposure and the world would have experienced the McWhopper. By rejecting the Burger King offer, McDonald’s looks like bad sports and Burger King received favorable press. The other four chains getting in on the action and making the Peace Day Burger a reality was icing on the cake, in our opinion.


Well, it means you might be able to get to try a Whiple Whiple, a Slammper, or a Sir Krystal. But there’s also a nugget of marketing wisdom here. Marketing is often thought of as a means of differentiating a company from its competitors or trying to defeat the competition. But many businesses benefit from other industry players to create/build/increase the demand for a certain product or service. There may be a way to collaborate with a rival in order to multiply your marketing reach and generate positive press/publicity. Or, at the very least, maybe you can be seen as the one extending the olive branch, even if it doesn’t work. There’s something to be said about being seen as a “good guy” who can play nice with competitors. Or there may be a way to ride the coattails of a larger player in your industry by trying a stunt like this.

But even if there’s not a direct application for you or us, we still look forward to tasting the Peace Day Burger mashup. And we’re calling that a win.

– Your 504 Experts

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