- Burger King is giving debt-laded customers a chance to pay down their student loans by placing food orders through its mobile app or mailing in an entry card by June 6. The burger chain announced the "Whopper Loans" sweepstakes on its @BurgerKing account on Twitter on Thursday.
- The sweepstakes has a grand prize of as much as $100,000 to pay down a verified school loan balance, and 300 weekly prizes of as much as $500 each. Burger King will have weekly drawings on May 31 and June 7, followed by the grand prize drawing for all entries on June 13, per the sweepstakes rules.
- Customers can enter the sweepstakes once a week by making a purchase through the BK app or as many times as they want by mailing in a handwritten envelope to Realtime Media, which is running the contest.
With U.S. college students graduating with an average of $29,800 in student debt this year, per data compiled by Student Loan Hero, Burger King's "Whopper Loan" sweepstakes could provide some financial relief for hundreds of lucky winners while also drumming up some social media engagement and in-app orders.
The "Whopper Loan" sweepstakes likely will help to drive more downloads of the BK app, which has become a key part of the burger chain's marketing efforts in the past year. Burger King ran a stunt campaign in December that urged mobile users to take a "Whopper Detour" from archrival McDonald's through the use of mobile location data. Customers had to download the upgraded Burger King app and get within 600 feet of a McDonald's restaurant to activate the offer. After customers placed an order, the app navigated them away from McDonald's and toward the nearest Burger King to pick up their food within an hour. The campaign drove 1.5 million downloads, pointing to how money-saving offers can drive significant discovery and use of mobile features.
Burger King's various marketing efforts and menu changes appear to be paying off for its parent company, Restaurant Brands International. The burger chain boosted same-store sales by 2.2% in Q1 from a year earlier, beating estimates of 1.8%, CNBC reported. Meanwhile, Burger King's student loan sweepstakes follows similar efforts by beer brand Natural Light to reach younger consumers, a key target audience for both brands.