In A Nod To Classic WKRP Scene, White Castle To Drop Turkey Sliders From Drones In Cincinnati

Turkey sliders can't fly any better than live turkeys, but the fast food player hopes its pre-Thanksgiving promotion has much better results than the one held by the fictional radio station.

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The Ohio-based White Castle fast food company is tempting fate with a re-creation of the iconic “Turkeys Away” episode of the 70s TV sitcom WKRP in Cincinnati. The Friday event, which will be broadcast live on Periscope and will feature contests both live and virtual, is aimed at promoting the restaurant’s new limited-time turkey slider menu items, which were unveiled earlier this week.

On the show, originally aired in 1978, radio station executives stage an elaborate secret promotion in advance of Thanksgiving, which the news reporter Les Nessman covers live as it happens. On the air, he describes a helicopter circling a shopping center parking lot and beginning to drop live turkeys — which the station execs thought could fly — where they land with a splat. Chaos and hilarity ensue.

“Turkeys Away” is considered by many to be one of the all-time best television episodes, so White Castle is likely to get much more attention by touting the tie-in than it would otherwise.

In its version of the turkey drop, 15 contestants at a White Castle in West Chester, Ohio, will wear video headsets so they can see from the point of view of the drone, called the Crave Copter. They’ll issue verbal directions to a professional operator navigating the drone over a Thanksgiving-themed table divided into sections for the contest. When the player presses a button, the slider will then drop, and the prize will be determined based upon where it lands.

The Crave Copter, White Castle's branded drone. (PRNewsFoto/White Castle)

The Crave Copter, White Castle’s branded drone. (PRNewsFoto/White Castle)

Online players will be selected randomly from those who respond to a tweet the brand has issued from @WhiteCastle before the contest. These virtual contestants, who will follow along via Periscope, will be matched with an on-site counterpart and will be eligible to win prizes, as well.

“We wanted to give our loyal Cravers outside of Cincinnati the same chance to win our selection of prizes,” said Jamie Richardson, vice president at White Castle, in a statement. “Social media is an amazing tool that brings the event directly to them.”

White Castle has also produced a YouTube video explaining the contest and encouraging participation:

For those who manage to drop the turkey slider into the right spot on the field, the grand prize will be a year’s supply of sliders. Others will be rewarded with gift cards. The contest will take place Friday, November 13, starting at 11 a.m. local time.

About the author

Pamela Parker
Pamela Parker is Research Director at Third Door Media's Content Studio, where she produces MarTech Intelligence Reports and other in-depth content for digital marketers in conjunction with Search Engine Land and MarTech. Prior to taking on this role at TDM, she served as Content Manager, Senior Editor and Executive Features Editor. Parker is a well-respected authority on digital marketing, having reported and written on the subject since its beginning. She's a former managing editor of ClickZ and has also worked on the business side helping independent publishers monetize their sites at Federated Media Publishing. Parker earned a master's degree in journalism from Columbia University.

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