Burger King Gives Bronx Residents Free Whoppers for Tolerating the ‘Joker Stairs’

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Ever since Joaquin Phoenix’s Joker debuted last October, a certain staircase in the Bronx has become a mandatory stop for fans, especially those in costume.

Inspired by a memorable scene of the anti-hero dancing down a flight of stairs—situated in real life at Shakespeare and Jerome Avenues—to the tune of Gary Glitter’s “Rock and Roll Part 2,” fans have converged on the staircase daily for months. As you might imagine, that’s not always a delight for the Bronx residents just trying to go about their days.

Now Burger King is showing some support for the locals by offering a free Whopper via delivery service Uber Eats to anyone who lives in the Bronx. A video promo and print ad for the promotion make it clear that this is less about picking on Joker fans than it is about continuing the brand’s long-running crusade against clowns (a proxy, of course, for rival McDonald’s Ronald McDonald).

The promotion was created by longtime Burger King agency partner David Miami. The launch was timed for today as Joker makes its retail debut on disc.

“King Stairs” continues Burger King’s years-long spree of marketing poking fun at McDonald’s by way of linking the megabrand to any thing annoying or creepy about clowns.

The trend really got rolling in 2017, when agency LOLA MullenLowe created Scary Clown Night, a promotion offering free Whopppers to anyone on Halloween who came into a Burger King dressed as a clown. That promotion was dreamed up by creative leader Pancho Cassis, who is now global CCO of David, the agency behind the new Joker-centric campaign.

LOLA MullenLowe also created a relatable print campaign in 2019 about how children can be traumatized by clowns at parties. “Birthdays should be happy,” the copy noted. “Ask our manager about booking a clown-free party.”


Agency: David Miami
Global CCO & Partner: Pancho Cassis
Global COO: Sylvia Panico:
Executive Creative Directors: Saulo Rocha, André Toledo
Creative Directors: Fred Bosch, Álvaro Palma
Copywriter: Guilherme Pinheiro
Art Director: Rafael Ochoa
Director, Strategic Planning: Jon Carlaw
Senior Planner: Stephanie Salvador
Junior Planner: Vanessa Amaral:
Executive Producer: Carlos Torres
Producer: Ricardo Ceballos
Production Coordinator: Tomas Diego
Group Account Director: Stefane Rosa
Management Supervisor: Jenny Gobel
Account Executive: Rachel Startz

Client: Burger King
Global CMO: Fernando Machado
President, Burger King North America: Chris Finazzo
Head of Marketing, North America: Renato Rossi
Lead Marketing Communications: Diego Suarez
Marcelo Pascoa: Head of Global Marketing
Nicole Alevizos : Director, Marketing Communications
Rogelio Magaña: Senior Brand Manager, Global Marketing
Rachel Williams: Manager, Advertising

Production: STEPT Studios
Executive Producer Nick Martini
Stept Sales EP Susanne Kelly

Head of Production Laura R. Cushing
Producer Jenna Cedicci
Director Issac Sokol
Cinematographer Taylor McIntosh

Editorial: David Studios (Editorial + Finishing)
Editor: Pablo Colella
Colorist: Nicolas Cragnolino
Post Producer: Alex Brizuela

Audio: HOBO Audio
Mixer: Diego Jimenez

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