In 1974, Burger King rolled out its iconic “Have it your manner” slogan with a jingle that assured customers, “Particular orders don’t upset us, all we ask is that you simply allow us to serve it your manner!” Fifty years on, the fast-food chain is taking its promise of personalized burger orders to the subsequent degree with a contest that’s fueled by generative synthetic intelligence (AI).
Burger King on Feb. 5 launched the Million Greenback Whopper Contest, letting customers create their very own Whopper for an opportunity at a $1 million prize and the chance for 3 entrants to have their private tackle a personalized burger offered for a restricted time. After inputting as much as eight components within the BK App or through a microsite, Burger King makes use of generative AI to deliver the burger — and a personalized jingle — to life, giving customers a picture and video that may be shared throughout social.
“The Million Greenback Whopper Contest leans into customization in methods we by no means have, and realizing that solely three friends may have the chance to see their Whopper improvements in eating places, we wished to discover how we might deliver each particular person’s submission to life,” Burger King CMO Pat O’Toole mentioned in emailed feedback.
“That’s the place AI got here in – we all know that AI (and particularly generative AI) can be persevering with to evolve the best way that we create, have interaction, and optimize completely different advertising and marketing content material. That mentioned, we wished to ensure we entered the area in an genuine manner that had roots in our model heritage,” the chief added.
The competition ties into insights concerning the model, the place almost half of friends customise their Whoppers in a roundabout way, and its advertising and marketing priorities round customization and giving customers a brand new technique to work together with a Royal Perks loyalty program that helps drive engagement and frequency. Using generative AI comes because the expertise is beginning to present use-cases for entrepreneurs after greater than a yr of hype.
“We noticed an enormous alternative in utilizing AI to assist ship a marketing campaign that was genuine to the model, but additionally allowed our friends to have a seamless and enjoyable expertise. AI has performed a pivotal position, each within the consumer-facing entrance, but additionally in how our staff assesses and understands the components that friends are getting into,” O’Toole mentioned.
Generative AI isn’t with out its dangers and critics. Tales of huge AI investments are simply as frequent as ones about unhealthy outcomes, hallucinations and deep fakes. However Burger King — a model recognized for making advertising and marketing bets at the forefront of expertise — seems to be as ready as it may be.
“AI is like several rising expertise — highly effective, however a bit unpredictable,” O’Toole mentioned. “We’ve been making ready considerably on our facet and telling our friends to anticipate the surprising.”
Beneath the hood
Created by Media.Monks, the competition’s AI-fueled expertise permits customers so as to add as much as eight components to their Whopper creations, and aside from allergens, inedible objects and profanity, the one restrict is their creativeness. Constructing an expertise that’s scalable, brand-safe and privacy-first offered a problem for the advertising and marketing and promoting providers firm.
“At Media.Monks, we’ve put a whole lot of emphasis into AI information throughout all of the departments,” mentioned Iran Reyes, vp and world head of engineering on the firm. “Each product division is educated about AI — it is not solely tech connecting dots, it is actually realizing how the expertise works.”
Producing customized Whoppers with AI required a number of massive language fashions (LLMs) to be fine-tuned to model tips round what components may very well be included and what they might appear to be topping a burger. However the “magic ingredient” is Media.Monks’ use of a devoted staff — not the builders themselves — for high quality assurance (QA), Reyes mentioned.
“Our QA staff is kind of educated with AI as properly,” the chief mentioned. “The QA staff is huge, and so they have a whole lot of expertise working with LLMs.”
“We’re attending to the place hyper personalization is our actuality.”
Vice chairman and world head of engineering, Media.Monks
After producing a picture of a Whopper that appears lifelike and doable, the subsequent step was working to generate a personalized jingle that incorporates a voice rapping concerning the components in a manner harking back to the model’s common “Whopper Whopper” jingle. Whereas the AI-generated photographs will doubtless generate probably the most buzz, the audio is definitely probably the most advanced element of the expertise.
“It is sort of a dynamic advert… it is really fairly advanced to match up and join all of the dots,” Reyes mentioned. “We’re attending to the place hyper personalization is our actuality.”
The expertise took about three to 4 months to finish, together with R&D, backend planning and QA planning. Together with Media.Monks’ mixture of artistic and technical experience, a prioritization of AI allowed for the creation of a scalable, safe and quick answer.
“Everybody ought to find out about AI — that has been our focus for the final yr,” Reyes mentioned. “It has been an enormous problem and continues to be a problem as a result of AI adjustments on a regular basis.”
The event and evolution of the underlying applied sciences will proceed, making it crucial for entrepreneurs to remain up-to-date on the chances and pitfalls of generative AI.
“There’s rather a lot to uncover and discover with regards to AI, and that is simply the beginning,” O’Toole mentioned. “It’s vital that any AI integration is in service of our Friends, however our staff is actively exploring completely different ways in which generative AI will influence how we deploy, create, and optimize various kinds of media.”