A forensic look at Burger King and their product sampling

By October 2, 2017General

To put it simply, sampling works. Getting someone to try out or taste a product will generate customers.

Now, when you think of product sampling and PR campaigns, fast-food giant Burger King isn’t necessarily the first company that springs to mind. However, they created an extremely interesting product sampling campaign in France…

… and they did it for a particular reason.

First things first, this wasn’t your typical product sampling campaign. Burger King didn’t give away free samples on the streets – they don’t need to. Plenty of people already love their stuff.

No, this all starts with an issue. We, as humans, are creatures of habit. And in terms of restaurants and fast-food outlets, we usually order the same thing each time we go in one of these places.

Burger King clearly thinks that our eating habits have an impact on their potential revenue. As such, Burger King would like us to try different items on their menu, because if we enjoy a wide range of things, we’ll come back more often (and potentially increase our spending).

In France, for 2 Euros, you get a random burger that’s hidden in a white, unbranded box. You won’t know what you’re getting until you open the box.

The point of this ‘Mystery Burger’ promotion was to expand our repertoire of Burger King products. This is a product sampling campaign of sorts, but it was created with a very specific goal in mind.

And the key tactic here is that Burger King understood that it can’t just make us ditch our favourite dishes just to do them a favour. And equally, they had no reason to give away free samples to complete strangers.

The solution was to design an engaging campaign that appeals to our inquisitive natures. Furthermore, it was priced really low. Low enough to pique our interest, but because these samples still turned over earned a degree of revenue, Burger King doesn’t lose out.

Like all good product sampling campaigns, it was promoted heavily through social media and, if this kind of sampling proves to be successful, expect to see more of it. This is sampling, but not as you know it. It’s very tactical.

Hotcow is a non-traditional creative agency that specialises in experiential marketing that goes viral. Our campaigns generate buzz through crowd participation, PR and content sharing. Contact us on 0207 5030442 or email us on info@hotcow.co.uk.