7 Times Burger King Wickedly Trolled McDonald’s, and How It’s Boosting Sales

Burger King has become known for scorching its biggest rival, but stops short of being 'mean-spirited.'   Burger King

Burger King has become known for scorching its biggest rival, but stops short of being 'mean-spirited.'

Burger King

May 16, 2019 - David Griner, creative and innovation editor for Adweek, writes: It may not have the body count of Game of Thrones, but Burger King’s increasingly epic marketing battle with McDonald’s has become one of the most-watched rivalries in the advertising world.

Since global CMO Fernando Machado joined Burger King in 2014, he has been escalating the chain’s fiery approach to its largest rival—and thanks to his relationship with a worldwide roster of innovative agencies, he’s been able to turn his brand’s lighthearted barbs into globally celebrated marketing and PR campaigns.

As Burger King sparked another round of global media attention with its newest campaign for clown-free birthdays, we decided to look back at the seven campaigns that have truly defined Burger King’s modern approach to trolling McDonald’s (along with one bonus case study that shows Burger King can also play nice once in a while).

Machado says Burger King’s campaigns targeting McDonald’s have been a two-pronged success: Boosting sales while also showing the brand’s personality. The key, he said, is poking the bear without hitting below the belt.

“Many of our ideas have been incredibly effective at building brand love and driving business results,” Machado tells Adweek. “It’s all about the tone of the brand. Our tone is fun, lighthearted and self-deprecating. We like having fun, and we can take a joke at the same time. That in my view is a condition for you to be able to poke fun at others. We don’t do things that are mean-spirited or that can come across as bullying. Fast food is a fun occasion. And as a challenger brand, we try to be the fun brand in a fun product category.” More...