Burger King's marketing stunt on Twitch donation feature gets labelled 'unethical'

Burger King has copped flak for its recent marketing stunt on streaming platform Twitch. In a campaign titled "The King of Stream", Burger King collaborated with Ogilvy to turn Twitch's donation feature into a marketing platform. 

It is common practice on Twitch for users to make a donation to their selected streamer, and they will be able to include a fan message which will be read out by a bot. In a video uploaded on Burger King's YouTube channel and Ogilvy's Facebook and Twitter accounts, the creative agency said that for selected donations made by Twitch users, it donated the exact amount and its bot would generate promotional messages for Burger King's products.  One of the messages highlighted was: "I have donated five bucks so I can say that on the Burger King app, you can get a whopper, small french fries, and a small drink for five dollars". 

This marketing stunt however, got users riled up as some feel the fast food company is taking advantage of Twitch streamers. One netizen said it is "unethical" and "unprofessional" to do so, while another called the act "exceptionally low class" and said that Burger King is taking advantage of a system meant to support the streamers. Some others also called out the company, and said that it should have done a proper partnership with the Twitch streamers and not use the platform in this manner to get their promotional messages out.

"I hope this is a joke. If it's not, whoever came up with this marketing plan might need to take some classes in marketing," one other netizen said. Marketing has reached out to Burger King for a statement.

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This is not the first time Burger King has copped flak for its ads. In May, the burger company took a jab at McDonald's Happy Meal. In its campaign "#FeelYourWay" in partnership with Mental Health America, Burger King unveiled "unhappy meals", which takes a swipe at McDonald's Happy Meals. The campaign is accompanied by an ad which ends with, "No one is happy all the time. And that’s OK” while rolling out a menu of Blue Meal, Yaaas Meal, Pissed Meal, Salty Meal, and DGAF Meal.

Netizens, however, did not appreciate the marketing stunt, with some said the burger company "capitalised off" of mental health awareness month and using this opportunity to take a dig at McDonald's at the same time. Netizens also said the fast food chain for missing out on what mental health was really about, with some who said the idea was "crass and does nothing to help the mental health crisis".

Separately in April, Burger King New Zealand was called out for its ad promoting its Vietnamese burger. Posted on Instagram, the sponsored ad featured people struggling to eat a burger with huge chopsticks. Several netizens were outraged at the fast food giant mocking the Asian community for a burger promotion. One netizen, who recorded the Instagram sponsored ad, posted on Twitter, garnering 3,312 retweets and 4,200 likes, at the time of writing. Her post saw several other netizens commenting with memes to express disappointment over brands using "subtle racism" as a way of getting its message out.

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