Backyard Burger King

Burger King NZ

Issue 41 | December 2016


Colenso BBDO

Creative Team

Creative Chairman Nick Worthington Executive Creative Director Steve Cochran Senior Copywriter Simon Vicars Senior Art Directors Brett Colliver Andre Sallowicz Designer Brent Courtney

Production Team

Production Director Tim Freeman Head of Broadcast Jen Storey Producer Scott Chapman Executive Digital Producer Dov Tombs Production Company TripleDouble

Other Credits

Group Business Director Ahmad Salim Business Director Abbi Barker Account Managers Taylor Holland Helen Darwin Planning Director Neville Doyle Head of PR & Activation Paul Gunn Experiential Business Director Nick Harvey Experiential Senior Account Manager Kate Boekhorst Burger King GM of Marketing James Woodbridge Burger King Marketing Manager Chet Patel


April 2016


New Zealand was a fairly unique market for Burger King. For one, New Zealand had the highest penetration of fast food restaurants per capita of any country in the world. More surprisingly, despite it being at the core of the brand, research uncovered that most Kiwis didn't actually believe that BK used flames to cook their burgers.

Research groups suggested the meat was pre-cooked, the flavouring was sprayed on and even the grill marks were painted on.

The task, then, was to find a way to prove that a Whopper can only be made using real flames.


Every summer, millions of flame grills were rolled out in backyards across New Zealand. For Kiwis, the summer and barbecuing went hand in hand.

The idea was to harness the nation's love of their BBQs to convince them once and for all that Burger King cooked their burgers over real flames.

Hundreds of New Zealanders were given the opportunity to open a Burger King in their very own backyards and turn each of their homes into the Home of the Whopper. All they needed was a flame, and the rest was supplied through one incredible kit – a Burger King restaurant in a box.

Backyard Burger King kits were given away, complete with all the ingredients to make 16 Whoppers, including customized cooking utensils, hat, apron, matches and even a light-up Burger King street sign.

TV, digital, in-store and social media directed potential candidates to a campaign website.

Soon Burger Kings were opening all over the country. In backyards, on beaches, at work sites, student flats and even in an army base. Anywhere you could find a BBQ you could find a Burger King.


There were over 20,000 applications for the kit through the Burger King Facebook page and even though the campaign was never advertised outside New Zealand, there were requests from 83 countries for flame-grill kits, including from New York and Mongolia.

The biggest single shift came in the core KPI, driving belief in New Zealanders that Burger King flame grill their burgers.

From a pre-campaign starting point of only 19% of people believing BK flame grilled, this moved up to 63% within two months.

This shift has translated into real world sales. After a prolonged period of stagnation, Burger King New Zealand had their best sales in 22 years.

Our Thoughts

The oldest form of advertising of them all is word of mouth. People talking to each other. That's how this campaign has worked. Not many people actually got given a Whopper box but for those that did, and the fifteen others they could share it with, it was an event. It's the details that they would have enjoyed – especially the BK sign which turned an amateur barbecue into something altogether more professional.


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