Burger King’s spooky menu addition

The mad scientists at Burger King Canada have introduced yet another limited-edition item to the menu: The Halloween-themed Franken Whopper which, just like its movie namesake, is made from pre-existing parts.

Available exclusively on the Burger King app until Halloween, the Franken Whopper is a regular Whopper topped with six onion rings and 10 french fries. The LTO creation arose out of a Halloween-themed 2020 social post promoting what was then a fictional menu item and inviting followers to concoct their own version of the sandwich.

Digital is a “major focus” for the brand, said Burger King Canada general manager Matthew Wright, who said the QSR continues to seek out “exciting and innovative” ways to entice and reward app users. “Offering an app-exclusive product is another way for us to continue driving traffic to our app and making it a preferred channel for ordering in-restaurant,” he said.

Burger King decided to put the real burger on the menu this year, and turned to OneMethod to promote both the new item and its app.

“Burger King came to us this year and said ‘We’re going to make [the Franken Whopper] real,” said OneMethod creative director Scott Lew. “We had this really interesting thought around the release of horror movies, so we decided to pitch it not as a burger, but as a movie.”

Burger King began teasing the actual Franken Whopper last week with a tweet reading “you asked. we answered. Unleashing Oct 25-31” and a 15-second ad.

OneMethod created a nearly two-minute film that resembles the famous black-and-white horror films of Boris Karloff—the actor who gave the world the definitive version of Frankenstein’s Monster—complete with old-timey title cards explaining the on-screen action.

The look and feel flowed naturally from the name Franken Whopper, said Lew, while its emphasis on distinctive visuals dovetails nicely with the Burger King design update announced earlier this year. “You’re seeing a lot less of the physical King, especially in Canadian branding, and it goes back to this older, more graphical style of illustration,” said Lew.

The film is structured like a condensed version of Frankenstein, opening on a spooky castle and showing a mad scientist attempting to transform the Franken Whopper’s component ingredients into something greater than the sum of their parts, before flipping the switch to create the lightning that’s so essential to bringing all on-screen monsters to life.

“I wanted to make sure it felt cinematic and not like an ad,” said Lew. “I wanted it to have a very specific beginning, middle and end, and was structured almost like the original Frankenstein film.”

The film also contains blink-and-you’ll-miss-them shots of some of the responses to the original 2020 social post, with the posters listed in the credits as “Hungry internet guy,” “Angry that we didn’t have this sooner person,” “I have already been doing this girl” and “Cat profile picture person.”

Burger King in the U.S. has traditionally used Halloween as a springboard for themed menu items. In 2019 it introduced the Ghost Whopper featuring a white cheddar cheese flavoured and coloured bun, which was a sequel to 2018’s Nightmare King, a chicken sandwich that came on a green sesame bun, and of course the infamous Halloween Whopper in 2015.

“Halloween is all about being bold and standing out from the crowd, and the same can be said about the Burger King brand,” said Wright. “This holiday is the perfect opportunity for us to engage with our guests through unique activations and LTOs that fit both the occasion and our guests—like bringing the Franken Whopper to life.”

“This perpetual conversation between the brand and its fans will continue being the point of inspiration for the Franken Whopper for years to come,” said OneMethod in a release announcing the Franken Whopper. “What will the Burger King Franken Whopper consist of next year? Well, that’s up to the fans.”

We think Bride of Franken Whopper has a nice ring to it.

Chris Powell