Cannes Lions

Redheads

DAVID, Buenos Aires / BURGER KING / 2019

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Overview

Background

In Argentina, people believe redheads are bad luck. Men will grab their left testicle and women their left breast in the sight of a redhead to protect themselves from their curse. This has been going on for over a century and although nobody takes it seriously, it’s a passive and socially-tolerated form of bullying no one’s addressing. Redheads are a minority that makes up less than 3% of the population.

Idea

At Burger King we’re famous for our flame-grilled burgers and for encouraging people to be their way, so we decided to do something to change people’s perception on our fiery friends and see if we can help them go from being jinxes to lucky charms. That’s why we developed a campaign rewarding people who are friends with redheads. If you walked into a Burger King restaurant with a redheaded friend, you’d be entitled to a free Whopper.

Strategy

We dove into the universe of redheads to understand what it felt like to be considered unlucky by the rest of society, and soon discovered that rather than ignoring it, they’d rather confront this issue. We worked with Colorados Club, the organizers of Redhead Day in Argentina. This association is strongly committed to raising awareness on the discrimination against redheads. With a different kind of message targeting the general audience, and because prejudice starts at a very young age, we tackled the problem from a funny perspective and started a national conversation on a serious topic. The voice of the campaign was Colorados Club, while Burger King’s role was to create the space and give them visibility because in the end, it was all about them, not about Burger King.

Execution

Every Burger King restaurant nationwide (107 branches) was eligible for redheads to claim their exclusive benefit of getting a friend a free Whopper. We launched the offer on International Redhead Day to increase the media coverage of redhead associations. The multimedia campaign included pieces on TV, OOH, print, social media, and in-store. It got the entire country’s attention and started a conversation on the need to modify a completely senseless habit that’s not the least bit funny.

Outcome

Most-tagged and shared campaign in the history of Burger King Argentina

95% positive sentiment

627K regretful posts and public apologies

77MM unique contacts

U$S7.3 MM in earned media (vs. U$S0.2 MM Paid PR / U$S1.1 MM Paid Media)

+18% Restaurant traffic during campaign

+11% Sales increase (vs. same period previous year)

We helped redhead organizations against discrimination

get 2.2 hours of air time.

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