Burger King has big plans for next year’s April Fool’s Day prank and it’s inviting students to pitch ideas. The King’s Fool’s Challenge is a collaboration with the Clio Awards’ student integrated category, offering the winner a trophy and trip to Miami to develop their ultimate prank.
The Clio Awards is an annual celebration of marketing innovation that includes separate events for fashion and beauty, music, sports, health and entertainment. The 60th Anniversary Clio Awards will take place on September 25.
Each year, the Clio Awards also honor students who create outstanding marketing work related to a product or service, B2B or public service. For 2019, Burger King has taken over the Student Integrated category to involve them in a real April Fool’s Day campaign.
From March 25 to June 28, qualifying students can enter their prank ideas to the King’s Fool’s Challenge for a chance to win. Students can offer ideas around a myriad of platforms including audio, branded entertainment, branded content, design, digital/mobile, direct, experiential/events, film, innovation, out-of-home, partnerships and collaborations, print, public relations or social media.
Entries will be judged by a panel featuring Burger King chief marketing officer Fernando Machado. A shortlist of submissions will be featured in an editorial piece on the official Muse by Clio website and the winner will receive a Gold Clio award. Once recognized, the winner be flown to Miami, where they will work alongside Burger King’s creative team to further develop the prank.
Many quick-service restaurants have adopted a tongue-in-cheek approach to marketing and Burger King is a big part of the wave. The restaurant has employed a number of publicity stunts around social issues, mocking competitors or just for fun.
Just last week, Burger King Brazil launched an augmented reality (AR) campaign that burns competitors’ ads and replaces them with a free Whopper sandwich coupon. In December, the brand relaunched its mobile app with geofence integration. Anyone that opened the app within 600 feet of a McDonald’s would be offered a Whopper for one penny.
Getting audiences directly involved in which campaigns come to light is a way for Burger King and other brands to get consumers emotionally invested in the outcome. Earlier this month, KFC launched several Indiegogo crowdfunding campaigns for promotional items like a hot tub and ice show about Colonel Sanders. Unlike Burger King’s campaigns, however, KFC is testing to see how much people will spend to see these bizarre items come to life. As of this posting, the answer is “not very many.”