Burger King, whose fierce competitors are KFC and McDonald’s, is renowned for its visually appealing and amusing ads. The tongue-in-cheek humour and witty jibes at rival brands the advertisers employ have been crucial in increasing their sales over the years.
The Burger King ads have always managed to stand out and grab the attention of potential customers. The credit must go to the cleverly designed captions and use of eye-catching imagery.
Since its origin in 1954, this American fast-food chain has been famous for its well-thought-out and catchy slogans. From web-based ads to print promotions, this firm has always given much-needed attention to its advertising campaigns.
According to the World Creative Rankings, Burger King received the “most awarded advertising client” title on a global scale in 2021. This article analyzes the brand’s advertising strategy by delving into some of the most iconic Burger King advertisements and their impact on sales.
History of Burger King Advertisements
Since the late 1950s, Burger King ads have always employed cheeky humour and hilarious digs to impact its target audience. The logo of the brand has also seen modifications over the years. Several advertising agencies changed hands at the firm, but the underlying principle of humour and wit remained in all their ad campaigns.
Let us look at the timeline of some of the unforgettable ads related to this brand:
- The Burger King TV commercials in 1974 showed employees singing, “Hold the pickles, hold the lettuce. Special orders don’t upset us. All we ask is that you let us serve it your way!” Through this projection, the customers became aware of the brand’s flexibility in receiving and delivering orders.
- In 1982, Burger King used the competitive advertising technique, taking a direct jibe at McDonald’s. The ad featured a 4-year-old girl stating that Burger King’s burgers were 20% larger than McDonald’s.
- In 2002, the brand came up with its well-known slogan, “Have it your way.”
- The Burger King advertisements in 2010 focused less on the mascot (The King) and more on the ingredients and preparation methods. It resonated well with the target audience as they felt informed about the food they were consuming.
- In 2019, the company launched the “Eat Like Andy” campaign during the Super Bowl III promotions. It featured the pop artist Andy Warhol eating a Whopper.
- From 2020 onwards, the ads became more frequent, with clever captions and outspoken concepts. Many ads focused on the Covid-19 pandemic too.
Burger King has always ensured that their advertisements utilize recent trends. Wordplay and puns have always been their USPs in advertising.
Understanding Burger King’s Advertising Strategy
Burger King advertisers have always marketed their products as a more low-cost, high-quality, and super-tasty option among their competitors. The primary strategy they reiterate in their ads is conveying that the consumer is always the king and the number one priority.
The Burger King ads utilize humour, satire, and competitive marketing as their game plan. Burger King is known for engaging in high-risk ad concepts and social media campaigns to outweigh its competitors. While most of them have successfully increased their sales, some of them have fallen flat.
An example of a Burger King advertisement that didn’t go too well with the customers was the “Burger King Super Seven Incher” ad launched in Singapore. The sexual innuendo visibly portrayed through the ad triggered a few unpleasant reactions among the target audience.
In the following sections, let us look at and analyze two of Burger King’s viral ad campaigns that generated greater brand awareness and customer engagement.
The Burger King “Come and Get it Back” Ad
What the ad is about
This Burger King advertisement, released in Belgium after seven months of the Covid lockdown, was a brilliant way to announce the reopening of the outlets. The series of ads feature different outlets in various locations in Belgium, like Namur and Ixelles. In the centre, the caption reads “Lost on” and mentions when the outlets closed due to lockdown.
The caption in the bottom right corner beside the logo reads, “Come and get it back.” Then it mentions the reopening date below the caption. The ad also depicts a McDonald’s employee’s cap on the chair, thus taking competitive advertising to the next level.
The ad uses the lost and found concept cleverly. It urges customers to come and reclaim the delicious delights they have missed for so long. McDonald’s logo-embossed cap suggests that their rival brand prefers Burger King whoppers and burgers.
These sets of ads soon became popular among consumers. It increased Burger King’s sales exponentially after the lockdown period.
The Burger King “Moldy Whopper” Ad
What the ad is about
It is one of those Burger King ads that rely on shock-style and attention-grabbing advertising gimmicks. The ad depicts a mouldy burger with the caption, “The beauty of no artificial preservatives.” The ad claims that Burger King’s whoppers are now being made preservative-free.
This Burger King advertisement tries to convey that their products are healthier options. It shows the audience how a burger should naturally decompose after a few days if there is no preservative addition. The ad utilizes a bold concept and tries to emulate itself into a health-conscious brand.
The initial reaction of the consumers was a mixture of shock and curiosity. Then, after reading the entire thing, they get the message that Burger King tried to portray. The ad garnered 21.4 million impressions within two weeks of its release.
All the Burger King ads have one thing in common. They are consumer-centric and prioritize the needs of their customers above all else. The taglines such as “You Rule” or “Have it your way” proves their point that “Customer is King”! Additionally, the brand has never shied from incorporating satire, trending social issues, and unpopular humour in its ad campaigns.Want to read some more riveting ad analyses? Keep browsing The Ad Digest for similar blogs. Which Burger King commercial is your favourite and why? Do let us know in the comment section below.