'Whopper Freakout' Wins Grand Effie

Campaign From Burger King, Crispin Takes Top Marketing-Effectiveness Honors

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CHICAGO (AdAge.com) -- Burger King and Crispin Porter & Bogusky won the Grand Effie, the top award for marketing effectiveness, for the "Whopper Freakout" campaign.

Crispin Porter & Bogusky's 'Whopper Freakout' campaign for Burger King showed angry customers reading store workers the riot act.
Crispin Porter & Bogusky's 'Whopper Freakout' campaign for Burger King showed angry customers reading store workers the riot act.
Other finalists included Anomaly and Converse for "Domaination"; DDB, Seattle, and McDonald's for "Unsnobby Coffee"; Energy BBDO and Canadian Club for "Damn Right"; Mindshare, Suave and Sprint for "In the Motherhood"; and TBWA/Chiat/Day and Pedigree for "Echo."

"Burger King won the Grand Effie convincingly due to their boldness and creativity across multiple media platforms, delivering real cultural relevance and above all, outstanding business results," Carl Johnson, Effie Worldwide chairman and Anomaly co-founder, said in a statement.

"Whopper Freakout" was a documentary-style campaign in which the chain temporarily redecorated a restaurant to suggest its flagship Whopper sandwich had been taken off the menu. The resulting TV spots showed angry customers reading store workers the riot act.

Boost in sales
The campaign website, WhopperFreakout.com, got 250,000 unique visitors in December 2007, as measured by ComScore. But Burger King reported that the accompanying eight-minute video had gotten 1.5 million views by mid-January 2008. Consumer-generated YouTube imitations were numerous. More important, the work also drove double-digit sales for the Whopper sandwich, and the chain credited the campaign with some of its 4.2% same-store-sales increase during the same quarter.

Among the 24 Gold Effies handed out, independent agencies scored seven; Omnicom Group took six, the most among the agency holding companies; and MDC Partners agencies got three. Omnicom's DDB was the agency with the most Effies, at 12, three of them gold, six silver and three bronze. The winningest brands were Allstate, Canadian Club, Clorox Green Works, Converse, McDonald's, New York Lottery, Nintendo, Old Spice, SunChips and U.S. Army. They all took away at least two awards apiece.

A panel of marketers from companies such as Coca-Cola, Target and Unilever, as well as agencies including the Barbarian Group, BBH, Momentum Worldwide and Saatchi & Saatchi, debated the Grand Effie decision this morning.

Gold Effie agency winners by region were DDB and Energy BBDO of Chicago; Ignited and TBWA/Chiat/Day of Los Angeles; Crispin Porter & Bogusky, Miami; Colle & McVoy and Preston Kelly & Olson of Minneapolis; Euro RSCG, Grey, Publicis and Mindshare of New York; Butler, Shine, Stern & Partners, Goodby, Silverstein & Partners and McCann Worldgroup of San Francisco; and DDB and Wongdoody of Seattle.

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