Hidden microphones in the toilets of certain Burger King outlets in Sweden and Denmark are listening to for the phrase “cancelled clown.”
If someone says the phrase three times the lights will dim and a spooky apparition will manifest itself “behind” a specially-treated mirror.
Added sound effects create the atmosphere of a haunted bathroom – with a terrifying zombie clown lurking in the shadow world the other side of the glass.
The reference to the “Bloody Mary” urban legend made famous by movies like Paranormal Activity and Candyman is all part of the friendly rivalry between Burger King and McDonald’s.
Referring to the scaling back of Maccy-D’s mascot Ronald McDonald in the wake of a spate of “scary clown” sightings in 2016, this year Burger King are bringing back Ronald’s “ghost.”
“A few years ago, a particular clown got abruptly ‘cancelled’ from his long-standing job at a certain hamburger chain,” Burger King explained in a press release accompanying the campaign.
“But this Halloween he is back …at Burger King restrooms. If you do dare to summon him, it might be worth your while.”
There’s no information on what diners will get, beyond a terrifying vision in the mirror.
Daniel Schröder, marketing director at Burger King Sweden, said: “The clown doesn’t seem to be happy with the way things ended. But we hope he finds his peace and can move on to bigger and better things.”
In the US, Burger King is running some different, slightly less spooky Halloween-themed marketing.
There, diners are invited to drive to abandoned McDonald’s restaurants in order to claim a voucher for a free Burger King Whopper.
The Cancelled Clown promotion is the most elaborate Burger King scheme for trolling their rivals, but it’s not the cheekiest.
That crown has to go to Burger King Finland, who offered customers free delivery if they ordered their takeaway to be sent to a McDonald’s, and it placed ads for the scheme outside McDonald’s restaurants.