Burger King under fire for ‘exploiting’ influencers in marketing stunt

Feb 1, 2019 | CPG, FMCG digital marketing food and beverages, Online advertising, Online video, Social media, Viral and buyrals

Burger King ran a guerrilla marketing campaign tricking influencers into raising brand awareness for their new dessert fries, but one of them has hit back.

Vlogger Casey Niestat got annoyed at Burger King for tricking him into playing along with a stunt to help promote the brand’s funnel cake fries.

To help publicise the fact that Burger King is serving the dessert for the first time since 2010, the burger chain’s official Twitter account started to hit “like” on tweets from influencers from that year, much to their surprise.

Last week, Neistat tweeted a screengrab of the fresh likes on his old tweets and asked his followers, “Why is Burger King liking my 8 year old tweets?”

Later that day, the official Burger King account tweeted, “Some things from 2010 are worth revisiting — like your old tweets. And funnel cake fries. Get them now for a limited time.”

Neistat responded to the stunt several days later with a seven-minute long rant on YouTube titled “Exploited by Burger King,” outlining how he fell for the prank and why he thinks it was a bad move.

“Us influencers, we’re not brain surgeons or rocket scientists,” Neistat says in the video. ”We’re people of average intelligence. And because of that, it’s not nice to manipulate us into hawking your sugar-coated french fries.”

In his rant, Neistat also suggests that, since he inadvertently helped publicise their desserts, perhaps the chain can now donate money to “one of these great organisations that looks after kids who have needs.”

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