Swap an old flame for a free Whopper on Valentine’s Day


Valentine’s Day may mean balloons, bouquets and chocolates for most couples, but what if you’re single, heartbroken or just not feeling the love? 

While consumer spending might be at an all-time-high, only 51 per cent of American adults were said to mark the day last year, lower than any year for at least a decade.

Whether its Galantines, Palentines or a heart-break society, some brands are moving away from the traditional Valentine’s celebrations to connect with consumers who avoid the dreaded holiday.

Jumping on board the narrative of scorned lovers, Burger King took a very different approach to the sickly-sweet campaigns we are used to seeing for the holiday.

Teaming up with Warner Bros. and the new film “Birds of Prey (And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn), the fast-food chain celebrated Anti-Valentine’s Day in true Suicide Squad style with a fun experiential stunt.

Burger King Anti-Valentines Day (2)

On the 14th Feb 2020, scorned lovers across New York City, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Boston could drop a photo of their ex in a Birds of Prey-themed “breakup box” at select Burger King restaurants. The photo could then be exchanged for a Whopper served in a special Harley Quinn themed box – turning ex-flames into flame-grilled goodness.

In an eye-catching takeover, a New York venue was also decorated in Harley Quinn’s style, including hot pink graffiti, to surprise and delight consumers. 

The new movie’s story line centres around the DC anti-heroine, played by Margot Robbie, after her explosive breakup with the Joker. By partnering with the popular film franchise, the fast-food giant was able to interpret the bad-ass heartbreak narrative to build brand love and boost engagement. The activity was amplified on social media using #BurgerQuinn, with some fun film references:  

If any heartbroken Burger King fans weren’t near a “breakup box”, they could also download the BK app and complete a quiz with a chance of winning a $3 coupon for a Whopper.

Food brands have been known to hijack Valentine’s Day to create impactful brand activations; like Heinz’s Ketchup Caviar and McDonald’s McLovin’ payment method.

Author bio


With nearly 30 years of marketing experience, both client and agency side, I’ve acquired a rare perspective on brands and business: I believe you have to challenge things creatively if you want to grow sales. Consumer technology is reshaping our world, and it’s only the great brands that stay on the crest.