On the occasion of US Mental Health Awareness Month, Burger King launches the #FeelYourWay campaign in collaboration with Mental Health America. Throughout the month of May, Burger King offers “UnHappy Meals”, in reference to the famous Happy Meals of its emblematic competitor McDonald’s!
Burger King maintains the guéguerre against its rival McDonald’s
Between Burger King and McDonald’s, it has been a war of pubs for years. There are countless communication campaigns where the two competitors throw spikes at each other. Like when Burger King offered 1-cent burgers to McDonald’s customers or when he made fun of McDonald’s losing the Big Mac exclusivity. Renowned for his humor, the “king of the burger” has decided to troll again his competitor in his new campaign. Everyone knows Happy Meal, McDonald’s famous children’s menu. Well, Burger King turned this mythical Happy Meal into “UnHappy Meal” (or “Real Meals”) because “nobody is happy all the time and it’s ok”.
#FeelYourWay is the name of this new Burger King campaign that invites Americans to choose their menu based on their mood. 5 menus to choose to express 5 moods. And of course, the “Happy” is not part of it. Because we are not always happy, even going to fast food. Burger King offers the Pissed Meal (when we’re upset), the Blue Meal (when we’re sad), the Salty Meal (when we’re unoyed), the DGAF Meal (when we do not care about anything and we tired of everything) but also YAAS Meal (when you’re excited, because you also have the right to feel good).
But this campaign is not just about trolling McDonald’s. In fact, its purpose is to talk about an important cause, which is mental health.
A quarrel in the service of a committed campaign
In a society where happiness is fashionable and displayed everywhere on social networks, it is important to remember that we have the right not to be happy all the time. The goal of Burger King with this campaign is to make people understand that things are not always going well and that is perfectly normal: “we can not always be on top, we can be sad, depressed, angry or be fed up”. Burger King invites consumers to assume their moods. A way to counter the social pressure and the norm that would make you always look happy. This action in partnership with Mental Health America was launched this May, marking the 70th anniversary of Mental Health Awareness Month in the United States.
This initiative allows Burger King to position itself as a brand that cares about its consumers. However, this tailor-made communication is audacious and with this campaign, Burger King took a risk. While this may seem surprising, the promotional video has been heavily disliked on YouTube.
Consumers are not all receptive to this campaign
Consumers repeat that brands should engage on social or environmental issues. Normaly, this campaign should have seduced them. But obviously, the message did not go well. Some of the comments on the promotional video on YouTube include strong criticism: “Turning my heart sickness into heart disease”, “It’s time to end my depression with a heart attack !!” or “Depressed staff, depressed guests, depressing food, Burger King”, “I woke up so sad today, I went to Burger King for lunch, I ended up sad and sick.” The campaign does not seem to have the desired effect on Americans.
Others even add that they have become depressed because of this video. Another ironic reaction, “Can I have disabling depression with double anxiety and extra bleach?”
So will this campaign be a flop for Burger King? Will McDonald’s take the opportunity to respond?