Burger King Has Dropped Its Wallet Eick November 19, 2008 Fast Food, Marketing 117 Comments It appears that in the last few days, there are a handful of bloggers who, by finding wallets on the ground, have unwittingly stumbled across the latest under-the-radar Burger King promotion. The fast food chain has dispensed agents across major U.S. cities (indications are it’s just been Chicago and Orlando so far ) to “lose” wallets. However, when unsuspecting passersby find these wallets and open them, they discover an interesting message: Yep, the wallets include notes telling the individuals who find them to go ahead and keep the wallets. Time Out Chicago reported on November 12th that Burger King planned to drop 5,000 of these wallets around urban hot spots in Chicago. A handful of bloggers have found some of these wallets, and are reporting that they contain actual cash, ranging from a $1 bill to a $100 bill, a gift card to Burger King, a “Drivers License” featuring The King, and a map of Chicago or Orlando area Burger King’s. Several bloggers have posted about their experience, or their friend’s experience, finding one of these wallets. See HERE, HERE and HERE for more on their stories. A couple of PR and marketing bloggers are weighing in as well, praising the promotion and calling it “unexpected and well-timed” given the current state of the economy. This story hasn’t even bubbled up to the mainstream media yet. A Google News search for “Burger King” + “wallet” yields only one mainstream media story, from an NBC station in Chicago. Nor have stories about this promotion appeared yet on major marketing sites such as Adage or Adfreak. This is a brilliant marketing move, and the mainstream media seems to be lagging behind on discovering it – but creative and unique marketing ideas like this one don’t go unnoticed forever. I expect much more widespread attention for this promotion as the word-of-mouth affect begins to trickle up the mainstream media. Pictures via Ted.me. Update: Apparently this idea isn’t original – Josh and Melanie point out in the comments that McDonald’s did something similar a couple years ago, as did GE Financial. Update #2: An e-mailer and a commenter on Digg are reporting that these wallets were also spotted on the Arizona State and Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University’s campuses. The following two tabs change content below.BioLatest Posts Eick Latest posts by Eick (see all) Live in DC? Do More Tomorrow! - June 5, 2013 Surge Wins Discontinued Foods Bracket! - April 12, 2013 Discontinued Foods Bracket FINAL VOTE: Surge vs. Planter’s Cheez Balls - April 10, 2013 117 Responses « Older Comments Josh Santangelo November 19th, 2008 McDonald’s did the same thing a couple years ago. http://flickr.com/photos/endquote/tags/mcdonalds Way to be original. Reply Melanie November 19th, 2008 GE Financial Services did a VERY similar campaign in 2000: http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0EIN/is_2000_July_10/ai_63253493 Reply Jon November 19th, 2008 I love this viral marketing campaign. They have a website where there is a contest to design burger king t shirts. Some top apparel designers have taken a stab at it. Cool stuff. Reply John November 19th, 2008 Upon first reading this, I thought, “wow, what a cool idea.” Then I read Melanie’s link for GEFS. A hundred cash and a BK gift card–or $100,000 investment account? If you are going to exactly copy another company’s marketing campaign, try not to make yours 1,000 times weaker. Reply FUCKTHEKING November 19th, 2008 THIS HAPPENED JUST 2 HOURS AGO !! I DRIVE UP TO WINDOW.. ORDER A CHICKEN SANDWICH THEY TELL ME ITS GOING TO BE 10 MIN AND TO PARK OUT FRONT… WELL I GO IN AND GET MY SANDWICH AND DRIVR HOME.. TO FIND OUT THAT ITS NOT EVEN COOKED AND THEY HAD SPILT IN THE FUCKING SANDWICH.. YOU WANT PHOTOS? ITS RIGHT FUCKING HERE. MOTHER FUCKERS FUCK THE KING. Reply FUCKTHEKING November 19th, 2008 OH YEAH.. I LIVE IN THE SUN SHINE STATE…. FUCKING ASSHOLES. Reply FUCKTHEKING November 19th, 2008 P.S it was 8:30 at night so they was not busy… fucking crack heads. Reply Sean O'Flaherty November 20th, 2008 Oh, yeah, McD made something similar when economy was brilliant and they were not getting that many customers. Now that the economy is weak, McD (and BK and KFC and…) are bouncing up the number of customers. Way to go, BK!! Reply AJ Swoboda November 20th, 2008 Fascinating. That’s one way to get people into your doors. Reply chris November 20th, 2008 Way to be a douche. v v v v Reply disneyland guide November 20th, 2008 Amazing marketing initiative. Way more effective than just commercials. Kudos to BK and their creative agencies for the work they have done in the last few years (XBox Games, Cavalcade of Comedy, Subservient Chicken), they definately keep ahead of everyone else! Reply denny November 20th, 2008 I love this viral marketing campaign. Coooll stuff… Reply ntopics November 20th, 2008 What an awesome promotional idea. Not every day do you find a wallet, and then to your surprise find out it’s really a gift from Burger King. It’s hard to believe that they even gave away some 100 bills in those wallets. thanks from Tony Reply Razore November 20th, 2008 This is quite a good viral marketing campaign. With a little investment they have managed to get stories on the Digg homepage and several people blogging about it. Excellent. Reply Ker Kernel November 20th, 2008 I’d stand no chance if the King pulled some stunt like this in the Raleigh area. The Locust Don Zinn has the grease landscape so thoroughly covered, he’d probably be able to catch those grease wallets before they hit the ground… Reply How I Healed November 20th, 2008 Fast food restaurants are mad dangerous. Anyone who cares about their health avoids them at all costs. I would stop eating at any fast or quick type places immediately if you value a quality life. Reply Mark Hollander November 20th, 2008 You’re right about a story like this bubbling up to the surface soon enough. Congrats on bringing it to marketers attention before Ad Age and Ad Freak. And it does seem to be spreading. Yelp LA is all abuzz. Reply Ed November 20th, 2008 I would luv to find one of these, wonder if any are up on Ebay yet. Reply Anonymous November 20th, 2008 wow dropped wallets w/ marketing messaging inside what a great idea. too bad its been done 1000000000 times in the last decade. Reply Kristina November 20th, 2008 Bk Wallet Hits Orlando! http://www.BeneathTheBrand.com Reply The Retroist November 20th, 2008 Great idea – like finding a golden ticket! Reply Cary November 20th, 2008 pretty good idea. still won’t make me go to burger king, though. also, to all of the people who believe something is not exciting unless it has never been done before, you might as well kill yourself. life exists to perpetuate itself. whatever original thought you just had, someone had it ten minutes ago. just like what i’m writing right now, complaining about internet commentators who are complaining about originality. woof, too meta. time to relax and go eat mcdonalds. Reply Brett Duncan November 20th, 2008 Brilliant campaign. Even if McDonald’s or GE did it years ago, the majority of us didn’t know it. Plus, I have a feeling Burger King knows how to do it just a little bit cooler than it’s been done before. Reply Kelly November 21st, 2008 This also happened on Grand Canyon University’s campus earlier this week. GCU is in Phoenix, about 15 miles northwest of the ASU campus. Reply AngryChicken November 21st, 2008 Hahaha. A blogger, reporting on what other bloggers are writing about. “Hmmm, I have nothing to write about, so I’ll aggregate a few other blogs, add nothing, and post that!” I need to start a new blog – A blog that blogs about what other bloggers are writing about other bloggers. It’d be super stupid. Like this comment. And website. Reply Beverly November 21st, 2008 That is so cool! I like the marketing strategy! http://www.formerbrokemom.com Reply clean the world November 22nd, 2008 This is realy littering and if Me or you was to do this we would get a ticket for this. so just because they are a big corporation they can get away with it. I think someone should make the pay as we would. Reply creads December 30th, 2008 So great idea !! I expected to find one Reply Ana January 6th, 2009 instead of spending their money on useless promotions burger king should be paying farmworkers a more fair price for the tomatoes they use (search coalition of immakolee workers) Reply Chicago Steaks January 9th, 2009 It is a pretty cool idea, everyone trying to create a buzz does make for some interesting marketing. Reply Sarah January 24th, 2009 I am going to fill the wallets with gift certificates to my website and a darling poem about being beautiful inside and out! When you put the “woman together then the world comes together” and if I can help one more woman know how great she really is by helping her be pretty then it will be a great day! This is going to be so much fun! Reply Elizabeth Neal January 25th, 2009 Businesses are thinking outside the box instead of paying millions for tv advertising. In addition, this also creates more word or mouth advertising! And the people who find the wallets get a little unexpected bonus to their day! Reply Kenya Safari January 13th, 2010 All this in the name of marketing? Interesting to say the least. I wonder what mc donalds will come up with next. Reply buy ankle boots October 14th, 2010 This is half entertaining. But then once more I am very high right now Reply Steak February 10th, 2011 I stumbled upon this post, I wish this campaign was still going! Did it ever come to Chicago? Reply James July 23rd, 2011 What a wonderful publicity stunt and marketing strategy. I loved the idea. Wish I have the budget to try it out for my own company. Reply Leave a Reply Cancel Reply Your email address will not be published. Name* Email* Website Comment Current day month ye@r * Leave this field empty * Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Notify me of new posts by email.