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Burger King pushes ‘Big Miracle’

Promo expands chain's educational outreach through kids meals

When Burger King promotes a film’s release in its restaurants, it’s usually for a big summer tentpole. But as the fast food chain increasingly looks to help educate its younger customers through its kids meals, the company is backing Universal Pictures’ whale tale “Big Miracle,” which bowed this weekend.

As part of the promo, Burger King is offering five whale-themed activity sheets in its eateries worldwide through March 4. Company, which operates 12,300 locations in 78 countries, also is advertising its tie-in to the film in an effort that launched Jan. 30, through 30- and 15-second TV spots.

In return, Universal will donate proceeds to the Wildlife Conservation Society, which protects wildlife and wild places worldwide. Founded in 1895, org helped the American bison recover on the Western Plains, and now works to protect the gorillas in the Congo, tigers in India, wolverines in the Yellowstone Rockies, and whales. It also manages five parks in New York City, including the Bronx Zoo, New York Aquarium and Central Park Zoo.

Burger King overhauled its BK Crown kids meal program in November, the first reinvention of the effort in 30 years. In addition to a complete redesign, the program lets kids donate to charities chosen by the chain, including the Wildlife Conservation Society, National Parks Conservation Assn., DonorsChoose.org and the Have It Your Way Foundation.

Suggested retail price for kids meals starts at $2.99.

“At Burger King restaurants, imagination is king and the new BK Crown program is built to inspire every kid’s imagination and encourage kids to learn more about how to give back,” said Alex Macedo, senior VP, North American marketing, Burger King Corp., in announcing the makeover. “We are proud to have great charity partners on this endeavor to help kids and families learn more about these important causes and feel empowered to make a difference in the world around them.”

“Big Miracle” is the first film that Burger King has associated with the kids meal revamp.

Inspired by true events, the pic stars Drew Barrymore and John Krasinski in the real-life-rooted tale of a small Alaska town that rallies with Greenpeace to save a family of gray whales trapped by rapidly forming ice in the Arctic Circle.

Burger King does have a prior connection to “Big Miracle”: Shortly after the 1988 rescue, the chain was encouraged by Greenpeace to stop calling its fish sandwich The Whaler. It’s now the BK Big Fish.

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