• Digital Marketing
  • Social Media

Burger King Resurrected the Jingle For the Internet Age

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The Netty Awards

The commercial jingle is almost as old as commercials themselves. Since the dawn of television, companies have been churning out earworms in an effort to get their brand stuck in the minds of audiences. And when it works, it really works, with iconic jingles being seemingly forever stuck in the public consciousness. But when was the last time a commercial jingle took off? 2003’s “I’m Loving it” for McDonald’s? You’d be hard-pressed to name a truly ubiquitous jingle in today’s internet era. 

Enter Burger King. The burger chain took jingles to the next level with their inescapable “Whopper Whopper” ditty. A remix of its own “Have It Your Way” from the 70s, “Whopper Whopper” is a masterclass in viral marketing simplicity.

The (not-quite) official theme of the NFL

The “Whopper Whopper” jingle—which breaks down the burger’s ingredients in a monotone voice—is part of the larger “You Rule” campaign launched late last year to turn around Burger King’s flagging sales. The campaign comes courtesy of Chicago advertising agency OKRP. If you’re wondering if the song was purposely designed to be irritatingly catchy, it was. But perhaps the smartest thing about the jingle and the commercial accompanying it is where Burger King decided to showcase it the most: the NFL.

Despite the diversification of content that the internet has brought, NFL football is still immensely popular in America across many demographics. Of the top 25 most-watched TV programs in 2022, 22 were NFL games. If you want your ad to be in front of as many people as possible, a great way is to show it during NFL games. And for mass brands like Burger King, it’s the perfect delivery system for reaching a broad audience without alienating anyone—so they went all in.

For the 2022-2023 NFL season, the “Whopper Whopper” jingle was inescapable for football fans. It led to a wide range of reactions, from amusement to annoyance and all the way back to being funny again. But, the point was that it was getting reactions—a lot of them. It then took on a life of its own on the internet, quickly spreading on TikTok and Twitter through memes and remixes.

The hit song on social media

Love it or hate it, “Whopper Whopper” is an undeniably catchy song, and the internet ran with it. Platforms like TikTok brought more than 750 million extra views to the ad campaign. Memes of the often unintentionally hilarious cutaways to the jingle, from something serious happening on the field to remixes of the song, have given the jingle serious legs on the internet. 

Burger King noticed the conversation on social media and leaned in, releasing a “You Rule” EP, which captured 50,000 listens in its first weekend. A second EP was released in February, featuring six more jingles. They then doubled down on social media.

Skip the Big Game. Go right to the source

Given the commercial’s ubiquity during NFL games, it seemed a no-brainer for Burger King to go even bigger for the Big Game. But instead, they pivoted and released an ad specifically referencing they weren’t doing a Super Bowl ad. Instead, they encouraged fans on TikTok to remix their jingle with a karaoke version Burger King released on the platform.

Since then, over 12,000 pieces of user-generated content have been created around the jingle, and the campaign itself reached over 1 billion social media impressions. The campaign scored 99% in brand recall, which measures the percentage of people who notice a brand being advertised. Those impressive numbers have translated into success for the burger chain.

Within the first quarter of this year, Burger King reported double-digit same-store sales growth. It’s also seen growing Whopper sales and Kantar’s 2023 BrandZ rankings saw its value grow 8% to $7.7 billion. Needless to say, the campaign paid off, with Burger King being the strongest it’s been in years.

Old school meets new school

What the “Whopper Whopper” commercial shows us is that there’s still room for old-fashioned advertising techniques, but they need to be deployed in a modern way. Burger King knew its jingle was stupidly catchy and decided to dump millions to get in front of as wide of an audience as possible. The television views translated into social media discourse, which Burger King smartly pivoted towards, expanding their reach even further. It’s a lesson to marketers to not toss out the old in favor of the new but to synthesize the two into something singularly effective.

The Netty Awards

The Netty Awards are a prestigious awards program that honors top leaders and companies across various industries in the digital age. With over 100 unique categories, the awards celebrate achievements in Social Media, Industry, Influencers & Creators, Web, Advertising & PR, and Apps & Software. If your company is making innovative strides, no matter how big or small, consider nominating your organization for the Netty Awards today!

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