McDonald's Crowdsources New Burger Recipes In The U.K.

Competition's online 'Burger Builder' Offers A Million Flavor Combinations

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McDonald's is opening up its menu and inviting British customers to create five brand new burgers, which the fast food giant will put on sale at its U.K. restaurants this fall.

Phil Vickery
Phil Vickery

Razorfish has developed an online "burger builder," which can be used to formulate a customized burger by selecting a maximum of six ingredients from a choice of 80, creating more than a million possible combinations. The agency has also engineered a YouTube masthead takeover and created pre-roll and display spots in a digital-only push to promote the competition.

Chris Mellish, CEO of Razorfish London, said, "McDonald's is opening up and reaching out to the public – it's a huge step letting the public interact with the brand like this, and a good indication of where they are as a brand."

All burgers start with a McDonald's beef patty, but there are 20 different buns to choose from. The added ingredients list includes pineapple chunks, chorizo and guacamole, as well as more traditional offerings like bacon, cheese and onion. Razorfish worked closely with McDonald's to be sure that all the combinations offered could be delivered at scale to the British public.

The competition starts today and will run until June 15, with the winners named on June 29. McDonald's is also asking entrants to come up with a good name for their burger creations. Offerings so far include "Sweet n Sour Ballbuster," "The Parisienne," "Two Brie or Not Two Brie" and "The Burger Lad."

Razorfish's website works across all devices and carries a ticker which is constantly updated with statistics about the competition. Currently 8% of burgers contain pickles and 2% contain pineapple. Within hours of the site going live, 9,000 entries had been posted.

England rugby player Phil Vickery -- who also won "Celebrity Masterchef" in the U.K. -- stars in a video promoting the competition and will lead the judging, alongside McDonald's representatives, with online votes from the public also taken into account. One winning burger will go on sale in restaurants each week for five weeks, starting in October.

Alistair Macrow, SVP and CMO of McDonald's U.K., said in a statement, "Customization and digital engagement are becoming an integral part of how consumers interact with companies and we want to continue to innovate as a brand. Customers will have to think about what looks, sounds and tastes great."

The idea has already been successful in Germany, where a new burger was created every 26 seconds during the five weeks of the competition. In California, McDonald's has also been opening up the menu by testing customized ordering at individual restaurants.

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