- Burger King is offering free Whoppers to Bronx residents who have seen an onslaught of tourist visits to a public staircase featured in the movie "Joker." The burger chain partnered with Uber Eats to give customers in the New York City borough, including people who live near the now-iconic stairs, a chance to order free food on Jan. 7-12, per information shared with Mobile Marketer.
- Burger King takes a swipe at rival McDonald's — and its Ronald McDonald clown mascot — with a video spot that proclaims, "We know clowns can be annoying." The video also instructs Bronx residents to enter the code "KINGSTAIRS" in the Uber Eats app to claim their free Whopper.
- The promotion is timed to the Jan. 7 release of "Joker" on DVD and doesn't cover Uber Eats delivery fees.
Burger King's free Whopper promotion relies on the location-based features of Uber Eats to target a specific audience while taking a humorous jab at its archrival McDonald's. The promotion, which doesn't mention "Joker" by name, builds on the publicity for the DVD release of the Warner Bros. film that was the highest-grossing R-rated movie of all time, and has gained more publicity as awards season gets under way.
The film's popularity has inspired tourists to visit the Bronx to re-create a scene showing actor Joaquin Phoenix dancing on the stairway while wearing clown makeup and a bright red suit. Social sharing of pictures has helped to make the location one of the biggest tourist sites in New York, annoying residents who once took the stairway while commuting, according to press reports. Burger King can parlay that notoriety into greater publicity for food delivery from Uber Eats.
Burger King has touted delivery service in several campaigns in the past year, including a promotional video from compiled doorbell footage to promote the nationwide expansion of Uber Eats delivery. The burger chain also has taken aim at McDonald's in highly publicized campaigns, such as its geoconquesting effort to lure customers away from its key rival and into its locations.
Burger King's "Joker" stairs campaign comes as delivery service becomes increasingly important for fast food restaurants in responding to shifting consumer preferences. More than half (56%) of people ages 21 to 38 placed a delivery or takeout order using a restaurant's mobile app or website in the prior year, per a National Restaurant Association survey. The industry group found that more than 60% of millennial diners want restaurants to use technology that makes ordering and payment easier, and to make takeout and delivery more convenient for their fast-paced lifestyles.