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Burger King UK announces plastic toy amnesty with 'The Meltdown'


By Stephen Lepitak, -

September 18, 2019 | 5 min read

Burger King has begun an initiative to remove plastic toys from its kid’s meals in the UK while offering to meltdown unwanted plastic toys for recycling too.

burger king logo

Burger King's melted logo

The restaurant chain’s sustainability initiative, ‘The Meltdown’ led by agency Jones Knowles Ritchie, will see all plastic toys removed from its Junior Meals and melted down for good. It will be promoted through an online film, as well as out-of-home, in-store, PR and experiential.

The plastic toy amnesty will run across over 500 Burger King restaurants across the UK, while the donation drive will run between 19 to 30 September, with children making donations given a free King Junior meal alongside the purchase of an adult meal. Special edition sticker sheers, Meltdown crowns and Meltdown King Junior Meal boxes will also promote the initiative.

Recycled materials will be used to create a giant statue featuring one of the campaign characters 'Beep Beep' melting, which will be installed at the Southside between Thursday and Saturday this week while the Leicester Square restaurant will feature a campaign takeover including a designed exterior to represent the meltdown. Inside will also feature campaign visuals, special edition packaging and staff uniforms created especially.

Fernando Merchado, chief marketing officer of Burger King tweeted to announce the initiative.

In a statement, he said: “We are a global brand, and the UK market will be leading the way in making this first step towards change, which is part of our wider commitment on reducing plastics. Work is currently underway across all of our markets to look at how we can completely move away from non bio-degradable plastic toys by 2025.”

Meanwhile, Katie Evans, marketing director at Burger King UK, added: “Removing plastic toys from our kids’ meals represents a huge step for the brand in the UK and we knew we couldn’t do this quietly. The provocative idea that JKR presented demonstrated the engagement we were looking for; we knew it would capture the nation’s attention and change kids' meals forever. This is an opportunity for us to lead radical change in our industry and we know we can positively contribute to finding new, more sustainable solutions, long term.”

Stephen McDavid, creative director at JKR explained that the agency was approached to find a way which remove plastic toys, which led it to see the potential to create a movement.

“So we came up with a simple idea, inspired by Burger King’s irreverent spirit: meltdown all plastic meal toys and transform them for good. Kids are still hungry for an experience, so it’s brilliant that these toys will be transformed into play areas and playful experiences that last longer than a few minutes. To capture attention, we needed to create a campaign identity that was as big and bold as the toys we would be collecting, although it originally felt strange to create something we knew we would ultimately melt. This is a huge step forward for kids’ meals of the future and we hope the campaign will encourage kids, parents, and even Burger King’s competitors to join the meltdown," he stated.

Frank will lead the media strategy and public relations, Sketch Events will handle production and product design will be from Pentatonic.

The announcement comes the same day that Greenpeace presented the burger chain’s UK chief executive Alastair Murdoch with an award for ‘flame grilling the Amazon’.

The burger-shaped award was delivered to Murdoch as he delivered a speech on leadership at a conference in London urging him to lead the end of deforestation, claiming that the company bought meat and soya from Brazillian suppliers who were complicit in deforestation.

Marketing Can Change the World Greenpeace Burger King

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