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No Joke – Burger King’s New Ad is a Win

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No Joke – Burger King’s New Ad is a Win

Image Source: Fox Business

Do you ever see a PR or marketing stunt and think, “WOW — that is clever?!” I find that, often times, stunts seem like a good idea in the planning stages, but rarely get executed quickly or well enough to gain national recognition. That is not the case with a recent stunt performed by none other than Burger King.

Joker starring Joaquin Phoenix was released to theaters back in October. The trailer for the movie includes a creepy shot of the Joker dancing atop a staircase in what is assumed to be a fictional Gotham City.

The staircase, located in the non-fictional Bronx NY, has quickly become a fan favorite to pedestrians and tourists alike, and since the trailer release, there have been thousands of posts like this one hashtagged ever-so-literally with #jokerstairs.

With the popularity of the stairs came local pleas for tourists to stop with the photos. As a fellow city commuter, I can empathize with the annoyance that is walking through a crowd of selfie-taking tourists on my way to and from work every.single.day.

But alas! The marketing geniuses at Burger King heard the people’s cries and quickly turned this into an unexpected yet brilliant stunt. The burger giant released a brief promotional ad featuring the King himself dancing on the #jokerstairs with a to-go bag in hand. The ad reads:

Dear Bronx, We know clowns can be annoying, but don’t worry. If you live in the Bronx, use the code KINGSTAIRS on UberEats to get a free Whopper.

See the video here.

Why do I love this stunt? First, it’s timely. Burger King took a real-time pop culture trend and made a relevant connection to its brand. Also…“Clowns can be annoying.” Is this a jab at McDonalds? Yes. Is it offensive? No. It’s hard to make that happen nowadays, so I respect the effort.

I don’t think Burger King solved anyone’s commuter problems with this ad, but hey, now they all get free Whoppers. Plus, Burger King got some pretty great press from it (Travel & Leisure, Food & Wine, Fast Company…to name a few), and that’s the real name of the game after all.

Posted by Julia K.