The WHOPPER(R) Sandwich: A Worldwide Sensation for 50 Years and Counting
Beloved Burger to Receive the Royal Wax Treatment Today at Madame Tussauds New York
MIAMI--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Dec. 6, 2007--America's favorite hamburger is 50 and fabulous. First off a hot broiler in 1957, the WHOPPER(R) sandwich has become an iconic burger for the ages and boasts generations of fans worldwide. What began as a flame-broiled favorite now serves as the ultimate symbol of consumer customization, empowering people everywhere to HAVE IT YOUR WAY(R).
From its humble beginnings in a Miami restaurant, Burger King Corp.'s (NYSE:BKC) signature sandwich today embodies pop culture cool, preceding The Rolling Stones and outliving The Beatles, the Rat Pack and drive-in movie theaters. Today, the WHOPPER(R) graces menu boards in 69 countries and is set to celebrate its half-century reign.
To help kick off the celebration, the WHOPPER(R) sandwich and the famous Burger "King" will be immortalized today in Madame Tussauds wax attraction in New York City's Times Square. It joins the ranks of other all-star entertainers, athletes, politicians and historic icons, but it starts the next 50 years as the first food product to receive such an honor. Heralding the installation of the figure - which portrays the King presenting the WHOPPER(R) on a silver platter - the live King and his royal entourage, accompanied by WHOPPER(R) fans, will escort the figure to its unveiling.
"The WHOPPER(R) sandwich is a sensation worldwide. Whether you're 15 or 50, live in Austin or Austria, the WHOPPER(R) stands for a big, flame-grilled burger made your way," said Russ Klein, president of global marketing, strategy and innovation, Burger King Corp. "BURGER KING(R) started the customization phenomenon with the WHOPPER(R), and our guests keep coming back because they always get what they want - a superior burger that delivers on their individual tastes."
WHOPPER(R) Celebration Advertising
In an unprecedented social experiment, Burger King Corp. will demonstrate the popularity of the WHOPPER(R) sandwich in a series of television spots airing in the U.S. that force guests to imagine life without their beloved burger. The stunned and horrified reactions induced by "WHOPPER(R) deprivation" result in subversive and highly amusing footage of real customers.
Burger King Corp. also will launch Whopperfreakout.com, where visitors can view authentic outtakes of WHOPPER(R) withdrawal from customers from the advertising spots.
The WHOPPER(R) is Born
The WHOPPER(R) sandwich made its debut on March 4, 1957, when Burger King Corp. founders David Edgerton and James McLamore concocted a burger of unrivaled size and taste in their original Miami restaurant. Boasting a quarter pound of flame-broiled beef, ripe tomatoes, crisp lettuce, creamy mayo, ketchup, onions and crunchy pickles on a toasted, grilled bun, the duo developed a name worthy of the now famous burger and its ingredients.
Throughout the past half century, the WHOPPER(R) has been the leader of the burger pack, pioneering the concept of customization, igniting the burger wars with its 1982 "The WHOPPER(R) Beat the BIG MAC(R)" advertising campaign, and offering a gamut of popular, limited-time-only WHOPPER(R) sandwiches.
Today, WHOPPER(R) lovers take full advantage of Burger King Corp.'s HAVE IT YOUR WAY(R) promise. From adding cheese to holding the onions, more than half of the 1.3 billion WHOPPER(R) sandwiches sold every year are made especially for each customer.
About Burger King Corp.
The BURGER KING(R) system operates more than 11,200 restaurants in all 50 states and in 69 countries and U.S. territories worldwide. Approximately 90 percent of BURGER KING(R) restaurants are owned and operated by independent franchisees, many of which are family-owned operations that have been in business for decades. To learn more about Burger King Holdings Inc., please visit the company's Web site at www.bk.com.
About Madame Tussauds New York
Madame Tussauds New York is an interactive "must do" attraction that provides guests with unique opportunities to create memories with some of the world's biggest icons. Recent additions include the interactive "Ultimate Subway Series" experience, where visitors can pitch and cheer against each other in a replica of the Mets' and Yankees' dugouts and Rachael Ray's wax figure, where they can see what it feels like to be in Rachael's colorful kitchen. Other recent wax additions include The Notorious B.I.G., David Wright, Brandon Routh as Superman, Johnny Depp as Captain Jack Sparrow and Senator Hillary Clinton. Prominently located in the heart of Times Square, Madame Tussauds New York is open 365 days a year at 10 a.m. For more information, visit www.nycwax.com or call (800) 246-8872.
The Tussauds Group merged with Merlin Entertainments Group in 2007, bringing together two of the premier entertainment and attractions companies on the globe. Merlin Entertainments Group is the leading name in location based, family entertainment, which has seen the most successful and dynamic growth of any company in the sector over the last five years. The world's number 2 visitor attraction operator, Merlin aims to deliver memorable and rewarding experiences to its 30 million visitors worldwide, through its iconic global and local brands, and the commitment and passion of its managers and 13,000 employees.