Burger King sends customers $1 via Venmo to push new value menu

Dive Brief:

  • Burger King is sending $1 to select customers via the cash-transfer app Venmo to promote a new value menu, according to a news release.
  • The $1 Your Way menu features a lineup of Burger King items all priced at $1, including the brand’s take on the bacon cheeseburger and its Chicken Jr. sandwich.
  • In a press statement, Burger King Chief Marketing Officer Ellie Doty emphasized that “value is extremely important to our guests, especially now.” The campaign launches as Congress is set to vote on a pandemic stimulus package that some view as a short-term fix to current economic woes.

Dive Insight:

Burger King is partnering with a popular cash-payment app to raise awareness about the launch of a new value menu. By sending select customers $1 via Venmo, the brand hopes to drive up orders of lower-priced offerings at a time when mobile channels are increasingly important to its growth.

Venmo and similar services have picked up enormous traction during the coronavirus pandemic as people look for ways to easily and safely facilitate cash transfers with friends and businesses. The Burger King promotion, angling to surprise customers with the gift of cash, is timed around a holiday period where more consumers are feeling a pinch to their wallets.

Economic uncertainty and job losses driven by COVID-19 have delivered a hit to retail spending this season so far. Congress on Monday will vote on a stimulus package that includes $600 checks to qualifying adults — but critics see the bipartisan relief measure as a stopgap rather than a long-term solution to the broader downturn.

Fast food companies tend to benefit from recessions, and Burger King is hitting the gas on its value offerings heading into the new year. Rivals, including McDonald’s and Taco Bell, have been pairing down their menus to center on simplicity and emphasize bestselling items.

Other marketers have glommed on to the surging popularity of Venmo as a method of providing economic relief. Stella Artois, the beer label manufactured by Anheuser–Busch InBev, released digital stickers for the app earlier this year that tied to donations to the James Beard Foundation, a nonprofit focused on providing aid to the battered restaurant industry.

Working with Venmo aligns with Burger King’s larger push to center more of its marketing and business on mobile channels. The brand has put a spotlight on its own mobile app in recent advertising efforts, and is in the process of redesigning some of its stores to better accommodate mobile orders, drive-thru and curbside pickup.

Burger King worked with agency MullenLowe US to develop the Venmo campaign, as well production company Hungry Man and editorial partner PS 260. Paid TV ads will support the rollout of the $1 Your Way menu, a spokesperson said over email.

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