Burger King hot dogs
Burger King's grilled hot dogs have generated more than 2.5 billion media and PR impressions since their launch.

BOSTON — Burger King’s move into the hot dog category is off to a fast start. The fast-food chain earlier this year introduced Grilled Dogs, flame-grilled hot dogs consisting of 100% beef available in two varieties: The Classic Grilled Dog, topped with ketchup, mustard, chopped onions and relish, and The Chili Cheese Grilled Dog, featuring warm chili and shredded cheddar cheese.

To date, the launch has been the most successful product launch Burger King has ever had from a media and public relations impressions standpoint, Andrea John, director of investor relations at Burger King parent Restaurant Brands International, Inc., told participants at the UBS Global Consumer Conference held March 9 in Boston. Ms. John said the launch already has generated more than 2.5 billion impressions.

Andrea John, Burger King
Andrea John, director of investor relations for Restaurant Brands International.

“The way we approached the strategy was really engage with our guests in a unique way,” she explained. “So we initiated the campaign on the digital front releasing a couple of videos on YouTube. You might have seen them with Snoop Dog or Charro. And so that sort of generated the initial buzz around this new product introduction, and then we transitioned into social media platforms, so paid advertising on Facebook and Instagram. We also had a campaign on Snapchat where for a 24-hour period, Snapchat users could utilize a Grilled Dog filter, and as a result, 3.5 million Grilled Dog filters were used and generated over 60 million impressions on Snapchat. So a really unique way for us to use digital and social before going to traditional TV advertising. And as a result we’ve seen the feedback and the coverage in the broader media and P.R. perspective to be quite pervasive.”

Beyond its social media impact, Grilled Dogs has built upon Burger King’s core brand equities, said Josh Kobza, chief financial officer of Restaurant Brands.

Joshua Kobza, Restaurant Brands International
Josh Kobza, c.f.o. of Restaurant Brands
“It takes a product that has a huge market — the amount of hot dogs that are consumed in America is truly amazing — and it does a little twist on it in a way that we’re uniquely capable of doing,” Mr. Kobza said. “Because we have the flame-grilled grilling platform, we can put a hot dog in a broiler and grill it over an open flame, giving it a very distinctive taste and grill marks, and because of that, we’ve been able to produce a product that’s very consistent with our brand that makes sense to our customers, that they really love.”