What did you eat at the last wedding you attended? Chicken or fish? Or maybe Chicken Nuggets or a Big Fish Sandwich? On July 18th, 2015, longtime sweethearts Joel Burger and Ashley King said their vows in Jacksonville, Illinois; their wedding was paid for by Burger King. It’s a classic story of boy meets girl—and burger meets grill.
This wedding had something borrowed, something blue, and something certainly new: corporate sponsorship.
Shrewd Content Marketing
Content marketing is the practice of attracting customers through interesting content. It works best when consumers do not even realize they are being sold a product. In the case of the Burger King wedding, Burger King was able to garner lot of attention without resorting to those creepy Chicken Fries commercials (or a King so scary that he was dethroned).
This story first garnered attention back in April, when Burger King first announced they would pay for wedding. Thanks to social media, the BK’s Twitter gurus got a hold of the couple’s wedding announcement in a local paper. A few days later, the company posted a video of a conversation between a BK spokesperson and the couple. In the video, the couple revealed a note with the message, “Burger King wants to help give you a whopper of a wedding. In other words: It’s on us.”
Burger King helped the couple have the supersized wedding of their dreams: 400 guests. They put together customized Burger King yo-yos and Pinterest-approved mason jar favors. Burger and King took advantage of this humorous situation, with all the groomsmen wearing BK cufflinks and Burger King shirts under their tuxes like fast-food superheroes. During pictures the wedding party wore the signature BK crowns.
A Story Born to Be Buzzed Over
Why is this particularly love story taking off? And what does it tell us about content marketing?
When Huffington Post recently analyzed what kind of content goes viral, they found that articles invoking awe, laughter, amusement, and joy were most likely to be shared. This story hits all of those marks: awe at the idea of such a fated name-combination, laughter and amusement at those silly Burger King-inspired wedding photos, and joy at the idea of Burger King’s generosity. Plus, what’s more feel-good than the wedding of childhood sweethearts?
As this story gets shared, Burger King is getting buzz all over the web. People are sharing this story on their own, thinking of it as a cute tale rather than a giant BK advertisement. Yet just like a commercial or billboard, this story puts the Burger King name in peoples’ minds. As journalists and bloggers try for the best Whopper pun, readers subconsciously think “hey, I haven’t had a Whooper in a while.”
Furthermore, this news story paints Burger King as a fun, generous company. One commenter on ABCNews.com even said “I’d go and eat there for lunch to show support. Maybe I’ll drop by for an iced tea.”
The love story of Lady King and Sir Burger has a lot to teach us about content marketing. Content marketing works because readers don’t feel pressured to buy a product or support a specific brand: they can have it their way.