Most people know April 15th as tax day, but its also National American Sign Language Day and Burger King had a whopper of an idea to create some fun connections while connecting advertising and disability.
In a press release the company shared that “with approximately 1,000,000 people in the United States of America that are functionally Deaf, the King is breaking his “silence” to raise awareness and chat it up with the American Sign Language community; using ASL of course. Friday, April 15th is the 199-year anniversary of “National American Sign Language Day”; a day of observance celebrating American Sign Language. The King will bring speakers and non-speakers of ASL together and will give fans the opportunity to help create the “official sign for the WHOPPER® sandwich.”
Fernando Machado, the fast-food chain’s svp of global brand management shared that “The Burger King brand is built not only on including everyone, but celebrating everyone. National ASL Day felt like a perfect opportunity for the King to extend our brand mantra and engage with the ASL community on such a great day.”
Adweek shared that, “BK has also created an ASL version of its logo, and is making a scholarship donation benefiting students who are dedicating their studies to ASL language and interpretations.It also has the King interpreting a recent TV spot in ASL.”
The campaign extended to social media asking WHOPPER® fans to join the conversation by tweeting #WhopperSign to @BurgerKing on Twitter.
What makes this combination of advertising and disability work is that Burger King’s marketing team and ad agency didn’t just include token disabled people into a montage of diversity. Burger King took this opportunity to bring American Sign Language into the King’s conversation and messaging in a way that fits perfectly with the restaurant’s irreverent, fun and memorable positioning.