October 30, 2020
Burger King‘s latest Halloween stunt comes from Sweden, where the multinational chain is continuing what’s become something of a tradition of trolling Ronald McDonald for being a “scary clown,” reports Advertising Age.
The innovative promotion represents a different take on the popular “Bloody Mary” game, which dares participants to say the former queen of England Mary Tudor’s nickname three times in front of a mirror—after which her ghost appears in the looking glass. (The legend has been revived as a teenage party game since the 1960s, cropping up in culture like the The X-Files and Paranormal Activity, as well as chain letters.)
According to Ad Age, a teaser video, released on social media, encourages people to go into the restrooms at Burger King restaurants across Sweden and Denmark and say the words “canceled clown” three times to summon the spirit of Ronald McDonald.
What the customers don’t know is that, at certain restaurants in cities such as Stockholm, Gothenburg, Malmo and Copenhagen, a “smart mirror” with voice recognition has been installed in the restrooms. If it hears the words, the lights go off and triggers sounds and visual effects. Customers to dare to “summon the clown” and endure the spooky experience will be rewarded with a treat.
The mirrors are staying up between now and Halloween—and Burger King is being “deliberately vague” about their locations in order not to spoil the surprise, says the agency.
McDonald’s had no comment on the reference to its mascot.
Research contact: @adage