Burger King dishes out free burgers to medical staff this V-Day to show support

Burger King Singapore will be giving away free burgers to the medical staff at National University Hospital through its branch at Kent Ridge Centre.

In a statement to Marketing, Irene Tay, marketing director at Burger King Singapore said that in view of the challenging times given the COVID-19 situation, Burger King Singapore aims to take this day to thank medical staff, and boost the morale for the individuals caring for the nation at its time of need.

According to Tay, the concept was one birthed out of spontaneity and did not take long for the team to plan it given the circumstances. The hospital staff will be communicated about this free giveaway through a poster at the Kent Ridge Burger King outlet, and a WhatsApp message to share the promotion across. Burger King Singapore engaged ad agency Bread Butter Bacon to aid with the execution. The agency was also behind Burger King's latest social activation for its new Truffle Mayo Burgers launch.

"When we visited our outlet at Kent Ridge Centre and noticed how hard the NUH medical staff were working during this difficult time, our hearts went to them and we just want to do something to brighten up their day, at the very least," she said. She added that the teams could empathise with the medical staff for their hard work, commitment and dedication in keeping Singapore safe.

Compared to them, our efforts are insignificant.

This comes at a time nurses are ostracised by members of the public, amidst the COVID-19 situation. Several media outlets reported first hand experiences from nurses and medical staff who said they were disrespected for donning the uniform and taking public transport. As such, online portal Change.org started a petition to support nurses in their fight against discrimination. Currently, over 14,000 have signed the petition to ensure nurses do not get shunned away.

Doing good for medical professionals in a time of need

Meanwhile, Grab recently introduced a dedicated, round-the-clock, on-demand service to enable healthcare professionals to travel to and from hospitals. Called GrabCare, Grab aims to use this programme to ease the burden of these healthcare professionals who may face increased difficulties in getting rides due to heightened public awareness of COVID-19 situation.

Similarly, Far East Organisation said in a CNA article that it will provide 200 packets of food to NUH and Tan Tock Seng Hospital each day from 24 February to 28 February, as a gesture of appreciation for the hospital workers. ComfortDelGro too has offered to deliver meals to hospitals in the weeks ahead, and committed SG$10,000 in taxi vouchers to the Community Foundation’s Sayang Sayang fund.

Lauding businesses and individuals for lending a hand in times of emergency, Singapore marketers told Marketing businesses must ultimately stand together. Manisha Seewal, group chief marketing officer, Carro added that it is encouraging to see companies and communities stepping in to offer support in their own capacity.

In today’s world of digital and social media, brands have an important role to play in public health issues such as the current COVID-19.

However, for brands looking to do good in the current situation, Seewal added that these brands must be mindful of their communications and actions, and ensure that it is accurate, clear, and most importantly non-promotional.

Adding on to the point, Cheryl Lim, VP, head of branding, communications and sponsorships, Manulife Singapore said before brands jump onto the bandwagon to get some positive PR out of it, it is important to take a step back and ask "why are we doing this?"

According to Lim, good PR that comes out of it is to be viewed as a bonus, and not the main goal.