Hungry Jack’s takes a reality check with Survivor Whopper challenge

Hungry Jack’s introduced its sponsorship of Australian Survivor into the show for the first time last night by offering competitors who had been surviving on beans and rice burgers as part of a reward challenge.

The Survivor integration is the first time the fast food chain has sponsored a reality show, previously knocking back a sponsorship of The Block on Nine.

Hungry Jack’s has been running in-store promotions since the start of the series three weeks ago and used last night’s reward challenge on Network Ten to reveal a new Barbecue Box, consisting of 18 burgers, which will also be used as a prize in a social media campaign set to run alongside the show this week.

The fast food chain and agency Maxus were forced to scramble to get the the final peices of the social promotion ready in time after Ten added a Tuesday night screening of the show, bringing the launch of the competition forward from its planned debut this Sunday to last night.

Shivani Maharaj, head of innovation and partnerships at Maxus, said that the integration with the show was a huge step for Hungry Jack’s and that the reaction of the competitors was overwhelming when they saw the reward on offer.

“As you can imagine they get quite emotional because besides beans and rice, they were quite excited to see Hungry Jack’s arrive in Samoa,” Maharaj said.Hungry Jacks

“Contestants made some very big statements, such as ‘Oh my God, this is the best day of my life – second to my engagement’, and that sort of thing. There were quite a few emotional reactions. it was very entertaining, not just product placement.”

She said that one of the elements that convinced the restaurant to sponsor the show was the central element that fire plays in Survivor, where ‘fire is life’.

“Hungry Jacks hasn’t done an entertainment partnership ever,” she said.

“The competitors are fairly aggressive in this space, with McDonald’s – they have the AFL and the McCafé on The Block, and Create Your Own taste with My Kitchen Rules, KFC has everything that’s cricket and NRL, so everyone plays very heavily in this space, but Hungry Jacks hasn’t played in this space.

“We actually briefed all the networks and when Survivor came up just the whole idea around the flame being so prominent in the show and fire is the symbol of life in the show and when your flame goes out you are eliminated… For us it was about: with Hungry Jack’s your flame will never go out because we are the home of the flame-grilled.”Survivor 1

Hungry Jack’s has been leveraging the show since it began with in-store signage, products and staff wearing Survivor ‘buffs’, and the reward challenge was used as an opportunity to roll out a new meal offer, the Survivor Hunger Tamers Box.

Maharaj said that with a decade having elapsed since the previous attempt at Australian Survivor meant that the brand could be fresh with its approach, one of the reasons it chose not to go with other formats that had been pitched to them.

“As an example, The Block was presented to us and just redoing what’s been done with other QSRs or even other properties by QSRs – we weren’t looking for something to just replicate – we wanted to make something that was authentic to the brand, something that resonated with a younger audience, which this is.”

During the series, Hungry Jack’s is running a competition offering a trip to Samoa as The Ultimate Samoan Adventure, and last night launched a second social media-driven competition offering players the chance to win the same Barbecue Box reward package featured on the show.

“You supply the flames and we’ll supply the ingredients,” she said.

She said the integration with the show was an opportunity for the restaurant chain to test a different approach to its marketing.

“Every single thing we are doing is being tracked and measured,” she said.

“The entire business is watching this and (Tuesday) is their annual conference and I’m sure that will be the big discussion, but the entire business from CEO to owners to sales staff -the entire business is looking at it.”


Get the latest media and marketing industry news (and views) direct to your inbox.

Sign up to the free Mumbrella newsletter now.



Sign up to our free daily update to get the latest in media and marketing.