What the McWhopper Proposal says about marketing to Gen Z
By WGSN Insider

It showed Burger King cares about the bigger picture – which is exactly what this demographic wants. WGSN Marketing and PR Manager Clarissa Freitas Araujo reports

Aug 31, 2015

mcwhopper proposal

If you were on planet earth last week, you saw or at least heard about the McWhopper Proposal. Burger King always had an aggressive marketing approach, especially against McDonald’s. However, this time they took an even bolder and riskier move adding a cause with emotional appeal to their strategy – but why?

Youth insights agency YPulse says: “The harsh reality is tweens, teens and twentysomethings don’t really care about your dreams of world domination or your quarterly targets, they’re simply living their lives, embracing what ‘fits’ and discarding what doesn’t.”

Which means brands have to create campaigns and marketing to make this demographic care.

The McWhooper Proposal is one of the best examples of how companies are exploring new territories, and ideas beyond their comfort zone to engage with this continually changing, demanding consumer.

These “tweens, teens and early twenty-somethings” are the post-Millennial generation, defined as those born in the mid-90s to 2010. Although they are sometimes referred to as iGens, Digital Natives and the Conflict Generation, the most widely used and globally recognised name for them is Generation Z or Gen Z.

The name debate aside, marketers, researchers and analysts agree Gen Z  is “first and foremost, a population tsunami”. Given there are an estimated two billion Gen Z-ers globally, it’s fair to say it is huge. Fitch Media suggests Generation Z will grow to be the single largest group of consumers worldwide within the next five to seven years.

And this demographic is demanding a shift in marketing approach, pushing brands to comment on social and cultural issues in a bid to align themselves with a purpose higher than profit, and to drive more emotional engagement with consumers.

Behind the marketing strategic move, the McWhopper Proposal is a peaceful idea motivated from the fact Gen Z is grounded in working hard in terms of education and career but also in supporting friends, families and communities, and taking part in activities that are completely altruistic. They are influencing their parents, older brothers and sisters, their bosses and more. And smart brands are beginning to get in on the conversation as well.

What this group notice is if a brand or brand’s projects are benefiting their compassionate lifestyle in a creative way. If a brand can inspire this generation to be the best versions of themselves, they will in turn be inclined to loyally share and follow their every move.

Gen Z will ultimately change businesses and the way they work. A lifelong connection to technology is creating a generation that prefers career stability over high salaries, activism over partying and fresh food over fast food – and you have eight seconds to capture their attention. And despite being a fast food chain, Burger King did it.

CAMPAIGNS, EXPLAINED: The looks, the themes, how they’re created and why. Our team of market intelligence experts analyse every detail, every season. Sound good? Join WGSN.

What the McWhopper Proposal says about marketing to Gen Z

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