Burger King Trolls President Trump, Plus How More Brands Are Responding to the Government Shutdown

Sportswear companies are cleaning up national parks

A tweet from Burger King targets President Trump in response to the government shutdown.
Burger King and other brands are using social media to talk about the government shutdown. Sources: Twitter, Getty Images
Headshot of Katie Richards

Today marks day 25 of the 2019 government shutdown, making it officially the longest in U.S. history. As the days add up, more people’s lives are being affected, from government workers who aren’t getting paid to brewers waiting on the FDA to people waiting in long airport security lines because of short staffing at TSA checkpoints.

As the shutdown continues on, more brands are using their social platforms to address some of these issues (and others like the impact the shutdown is having on national parks) or just troll President Trump (ahem, Burger King).

Take a look below to see how brands are talking about the shutdown.

Burger King

Trump hosted the Clemson Tigers, winners of the 2019 College Football Playoff National Championship, at the White House Monday night for an intimate, celebratory dinner. Because of the shutdown, Trump said on Twitter that he paid for the meal out of his own pocket. The dining options? All the best that Burger King, McDonald’s and Wendy’s have to offer.

He wrote, “Because of the Shutdown I served them massive amounts of Fast Food (I paid), over 1000 hamberders etc,” and quickly got burned on Twitter for the typo. The president later deleted and reposted his tweet with the correct spelling. Still, Burger King wasn’t going to let him off the hook and tweeted this in response.

Kraft

While Kraft can’t exactly send money to the many government employees who aren’t getting paid, the brand can help with food. Kraft is hosting a two-day “Kraft Now, Pay Later” event in Washington, D.C., beginning Wednesday, Jan. 16. The brand will provide those in need with a full bag of Kraft products—including Kraft Mac & Cheese, Kraft Natural Cheese, Kraft Singles, Kraft Salad Dressings, Kraft Mayo and Kraft BBQ—to help keep families fed during the shutdown. All you need is a government ID.

The company isn’t asking for any money, and doesn’t want workers to repay them when things go back to normal. Instead, Kraft asks that people donate to a charity of their choice, if they can.

Columbia Sportswear

Many sportswear companies have spoken out about the lack of resources provided to national parks during the shutdown, after reports of vandalism and overflowing trash. On Friday, Columbia Sportswear shared a statement from the brand’s CEO, Tim Boyle, on Twitter. While some brands have called on people to join forces and help clean up parks, Boyle calls for an end to the shutdown writing, “Walls shouldn’t block access to our parks, and federal workers shouldn’t be left out in the cold.”

REI 

REI is a longtime supporter of the environment and national parks. As a result, the brand pledged to donate $250,000 to help with any restoration efforts. This number is on top of the $10 million the brand has given to these parks in the last five years.

“The government shutdown leaves many of our country’s iconic outdoor destinations in bad shape. We’ve all read the reports of trash piling up, facilities being overrun and vandalism,” Jerry Stritzke, president and CEO, REI Co-op, wrote in a letter posted on the brand’s blog.

The brand is also working with the National Park Foundation, National Park Service and other nonprofits across the country to assist with official restoration efforts, and asks customers of REI and its employees to do the same.

The North Face 

Similarly to REI and Columbia Sportswear, The North Face tweeted in support of parks. The brand shared a link to the National Park Foundation’s fundraising page, encouraging people to make a donation.

“Explore responsibly, leave no trace, and pack it out,” the brand wrote.

Nestlé Waters North America 

The water brand is partnering with organization Keep America Beautiful to mobilize a number of affiliate partners and volunteers across the country to help clean up shared public spaces, like parks. Volunteers will kick things off by cleaning up any trash and recycling on St. Simons Island in Georgia. Keep America Beautiful affiliate Keep Golden Isles Beautiful in Brunswick, Ga., is pledging over 40 volunteers to focus on the Fort Frederica National Monument and the Bloody Marsh National Monument. 

“While our volunteers can’t totally abate and remove the litter and debris that is amassing at our national parks and public lands during the government shutdown, our affiliates have offered their assistance in the communities they serve to support the parks during this time of need,” Randy Hartmann, senior director, affiliate operations, Keep America Beautiful, wrote in a statement.

Sweetgreen 

Salad chain Sweetgreen pledged its support to the many government workers who will go without pay as a result of the shutdown. The brand tweeted that it would be handing out free salads to anyone with a government ID this past weekend.


@ktjrichards katie.richards@adweek.com Katie Richards is a staff writer for Adweek.
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