2020/2021 Winners & Shortlists


CategoryTravel, Leisure, Retail, Restaurants & Fast Food Chains
Production 2 CANJA DO BIGODE Parangaba, BRAZIL

Why is this work relevant for Brand Experience & Activation?

2020 was a pretty unfair year – for everyone. Consumers faced pay cuts and were forced to get by with less. Brands and restaurants such as Burger King were hit hard with lockdowns. We wanted to help BK connect with consumers while helping them overcome unprecedented financial constraints. We wanted to balance the scales of justice. We allowed people to share with BK their pay cut on the BK UAE app, to be translated into an equivalent discount on their order. We turned the Burger King app into a prove of empathy-of Burger King empathy – when people needed it


Anything, anywhere at anytime can be delivered to anyone in UAE. From gasoline to PCR tests, everything is one delivery app away. That’s not different with the on-demand food category, with the UAE being the second-largest market for online food delivery in GCC. Yet most restaurants remain reliant on food delivery aggregator apps such as Deliveroo and Talabat, keeping their focus on the brick-and-mortar experience. Then came Covid19 and its lockdowns forcing brands to dedicate even attention to online. And the brief became clear: stand out in the online channel with Burger King’s own delivery app. However, we were faced with another major barrier: Pay cuts affected nearly 8 out of 10 companies in the UAE forcing people to get by with less while everything else remained at full price. So, how could the Burger King app stand out during one of the toughest times for the UAE?

Describe the creative idea (20% of vote)

Pay Cut Whopper. Pay less when you need it most. At the heart of this idea was the shared sentiment that 2020 was turning out to be a pretty unfair year. So we decided to make things a little bit fair by offering discounts matching people’s pay cut. We took a human and relatable approach in times of little hope. We modified the classic app user experience by adding discount settings that anyone could customize. It was a simple trust filter that empowered consumers.

Describe the strategy (20% of vote)

2020 showed a clear trend a shift from brick and mortar retail and F&B to online channels. But such insight only scratched the surface. Our quest then became to identify meaningful ways for Burger King to differentiate itself in a crowded (and virtually only) market – where willingness to pay dropped due to pay cuts. Brands compete for the online customer on the basis of product and price. We changed the game. Our competitive edge for Burger King became a new brand purpose. Where brands go to sell, we decided that BK would go to listen. We created a trust filter in the app that allowed consumers to avail discounts equivalent to their pay cuts. We invited a cash conscious audience to actually spend on BK by sharing their pain. We turned the Burger King app into a prove of empathy-of Burger King empathy–when people needed it the most.

Describe the execution (30% of vote)

During Covid-19 we created a bespoke campaign targeting UAE residents who were facing salary cuts, to drive downloads of the new Burger King app. The campaign came with a simple message: Pay less when you need it most by turning salary cuts into price discounts. All they had to do was download the Burger King UAE app, and add their pay cut percentage and its duration. That’s all! No other questions asked. We modified the classic app user experience on the Burger King UAE app, by adding discount settings that anyone could customise and activate instantly. The communication was channelled to online films and social posts on key digital platforms to BK’s audience such as Google, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube. We also used the playful Burger king tone and empathetic approach for in-store communication and outdoor displays in central areas around the country to spread our message.

List the results (30% of vote)

Reached and engaged + 22 million people. Achieved +250k downloads Unlocked +30% sales increase vs. 2019. Achieved +70% redemption rate. Moved up to #3 & #4 in the rankings of the Play Store and App stores (from #28 & #68, respectively).


Name Company Role
Pablo Maldonado Wunderman Thompson Executive Creative Director
Hassan Bilgrami Wunderman Thompson Associate Creative Director
Diogo Borges Wunderman Thompson Digital Design Director & App developer
Saymon Medeiros Wunderman Thompson Senior Art Director
Sara Ibrahim Wunderman Thompson Arabic Copywriter
Alvaro Bretel Wunderman Dubai Head of Strategy
Mona Hassanie Wunderman Thompson Strategy Director
Sanaz Khodabandeh Wunderman Dubai Traffic Director
Irmak Aktas Wunderman Thompson Senior Account Director
Alexandra Stone Wunderman Thompson Associate Account Director
Varun Karani Wunderman Thompson Senior Account Manager
Giuliano Biondi Astreoide Director
Tiago Gavassi Wunderman Thompson Executive Producer
Abdullah Alsharif Burger King Marketing Director