On July 14, 2013 Pakistan woke up to a job advertisement from the world renowned fast food chain Burger King and it has been a crazy 3 months of “When?” and “Where?” till Burger King simultaneously opened its doors at 3 different locations in Karachi on Oct 5th, 2013.
Burger King’s launch has to be one of the most talked about, yet the most low-key launches that I have seen in my marketing career – with no red carpet launches, no press announcements, no advertisements! No one concerned with Burger King in Pakistan was commenting or committing to anything – and even their Facebook page has been mum!!
But the people still knew about the opening, were standing in long queues for hours & Ahsan Haseeb even quipped that today “You can see two things on Earth from space:
- The Great Wall of China.
- The line outside Burger King in Karachi right now.”
From what I have observed – all Burger King has ‘officially’ done (other than the above job advertisement) is one press conference where the announced their tie up with Pepsi as their beverage partner in Pakistan – and otherwise it has been all unconfirmed rumors about opening locations, launch date, etc. … and social media buzz!!
Yes it was ONLY the word of mouth from Burger King lovers in Pakistan that launched the brand for them – and it has been unending shares of photos on social media that led to a rocking BK launch today.
Farheen Aqueel actually tweeted her disappointed at “… a subtle inauguration by Burger King in #Karachi. They should have created some sort of hype at least :/” but this understated launch strategy actually holds some great advantages for the Burger King management team in Pakistan:
- Low or non-existent marketing or PR costs at launch time for the brand – where there are heavy infrastructure investments for opening 3 outlets.
- Customer curiosity made it more viral on social media and gave it a bigger hype that a simple announcement from Burger King would have maybe killed!
- Easier operational management as only those who heard the viral buzz showed up at the outlets and thus customer turnout is more manageable. Imagine if more crowds had shown up on their doors!!
As per Rehan Allahwala “Sale of 1million PKR from all 3 Burger King outlets in Karachi, in just 1 and half hour.” … now this is a good launch for any outlet frankly!!
Moving onwards, we know that Burger King Pakistan will need to get it’s marketing and social media wheels churning to keep up with competition and draw customers – but this is a dream launch for any brand and only a brand as big as Burger King could have pulled it off!!
PS: Why the people of Pakistan were obsessing about Burger King opening here, when its just another burger, is not something I choose to dwell on!! Take your own guess
Oct 6th, below ad appeared in most leading press in Karachi – which doesn’t give the locations of the outlets in Karachi or call to action to find them out.