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Considering its mascot is a clown, McDonald’s has suffered a major sense of humour failure when it comes to rival Burger King’s ‘Peace Day burger’ offer.

To mark United Nations’ International Day of Peace on September 21, Burger King offered its rival a ‘ceasefire’ in the burger wars, working together to create a special ‘McWhopper’ for the occasion. A ‘100% genuine’ offer, BK suggested “all the tastiest bits of your Big Mac and our Whopper, united in one delicious, peace-loving burger.” This would go on sale in one location (Atlanta, mid-point between the chains’ two HQs in Miami and Chicago) for one day only, with all proceeds going to non-profit organisation Peace One Day. Burger King went as far as creating ‘McWhopper’ packaging, new uniforms, a special website, www.mcwhopper.com and its own Twitter feed. It took out full page adverts in major newspapers calling on McDonald’s to join them: “Let’s end the beef with beef” they wrote.

The response? A humourless, corporate rebuff from McDonald’s chief exec Steve Easterbrook: “We love the intention but think our two brands could do something bigger to make a difference. P.S. A simple phone call will do next time.” Burger King says it has since been approached by a number of other chains, both big and small, keen to work with them to create a peace burger.

A great piece of PR from Burger King, which its rivals could so easily have shared. Instead, poor Ronald is left with egg (mayo, pickle, cheese etc.) on his face…