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Burger King Trolls Trump Administration With Net Neutrality Commercial

Burger King Trolls Trump Administration With Net Neutrality Commercial


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The nearly 3-minute ad explains net neutrality by using Whoppers

Burger King released a new ad mocking the Trump Administration’s decision to repeal net neutrality, which would allow internet providers to surge prices for faster speeds and censor or prioritize content. To explain these effects in layman’s terms, the burger brand conducted a social experiment with their very own customers and Whopper sandwiches.

In the nearly three-minute clip, restaurant guests who order Whoppers at the regular price of $4.99 have to wait a long time to receive their orders. To receive meals quicker, patrons can pay $12.99 for fast service or $25.99 for hyper-fast “MBPS,” which stands for “making burgers per second.”

This ruling made people furious because higher paying customers were getting food first. But once they realized they were guinea pigs in the “Whopper Neutrality” test, each irate customer understood the potential harmful effects of repealing net neutrality.

“We believe the internet should be like Burger King restaurants, a place that doesn’t prioritize and welcomes everyone,” the chain’s global chief marketing officer Fernando Machado said in a release. “That is why we created this experiment, to call attention to the potential effects of net neutrality.”

The commercial ends with Burger King’s mascot sipping from an oversized Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup mug — a crack at Federal Communications Commission chairman Ajit Pai, who is known to drink from one at conferences.

And it’s a hit with viewers.

“Net neutrality repealed: I sleep. Whopper neutrality repealed: eyes wide open,” Lumpy Pliskins commented on Youtube.

“No joke just because of this I am going to eat whoppers for the week. Thank BK I always loved you and always will,” Hydrazkiller said.

“Thank you Burger King and acting as a Responsible Corporation and teaching the ignorant masses about Net Neutrality and how they are giving up their rights by doing nothing,” MaJieMao wrote.

For more on the Florida-based, politically active fast food giant, here are 10 things you didn’t know about Burger King.


My 2018 Advertiser Of The Year Has An Appetite For Big Ideas

Ever since the financial crisis of 2008 and the collapse of Lehman Brothers, companies have been leery of risk. This is true of their marketing operations also. But, time and again, there’s ample evidence that, in today’s fast moving environment and accelerated rate of technological innovation, not taking a risk is the biggest risk.

My 2018 Advertiser of the Year is not a start-up. It’s a 65-year old company. It’s not a sexy tech or entertainment company. It is an old-fashioned, low tech outfit, one which hasn’t changed for generations. It’s not the 800-pound gorilla and it doesn’t have the deepest pockets. In fact, it’s a challenger brand.

However, even as just the fourth or fifth biggest brand in the vertical, it dominates the conversation, and bigger brands constantly look behind their collective shoulders to see what is coming next. This brand embraces bold risks and advertising that pushes the envelope and, importantly, differentiates it from its competitors.

This brand, and my choice for 2018 Advertiser of the Year, is Burger King.

In 2010, 3G Capital, a private-equity fund led by a group of Brazilian investors, paid $3.3 billion for Burger King. The deal was mocked at the time because the price was considered high for a chain that was perceived as in decline, in an economy still reeling from the most recent financial crisis . Yet, the investors put $1.2 billion of its own cash into the deal and has, in fact, made several times that in the years since. In 2017 BK was estimated to be worth $12.5 billion.

Nobody is laughing now.Under 3G, Burger King did 3 things:

  • It quickly refranchised restaurants to operators and connected refranchise deals with remodeling requirements.
  • It started aggressively developing locations in international markets.
  • It cut general and administrative spending to the bone, thus reducing overhead costs per restaurant by nearly two-thirds.

Most importantly, BK refocused on marketing and advertising. Private equity typically sees marketing as an expense, and not as investment, and, therefore, they often curtail this type of spending. But, 3G Capital thought that the brand they bought was bigger than the business.

Fernando Machado, CMO of Burger King

One of the first moves of BK was hiring a trailblazing CMO from Unilever. Fernando Machado is well known as an innovator and risk-taker and, most of all, best-known for Dove’s “Real Beauty” before joining Burger King. Machado hired an FBI-trained forensic artist, to draw two blind sketches for each of several women – the first based on how other women described them, and the second on how they described themselves. The startling differences between the drawings showed how severely many women judge themselves. Posted with the tagline “You’re more beautiful than you think,” the video has racked up well over 80 million views on YouTube.

Under Machado, BK started going where other brands have traditionally feared to tread. Not in the least is its willingness to run social-issue campaigns – usually, an image and financial potential graveyard for advertisers. However, this is done in an authentic and credible way. And this is not done at the expense of selling burgers. While purposeful, the ads are well branded, and profits are realized.

In “Bullying Jr.,” a PSA-like anti-bullying campaign created by the David Miami ad agency (as is most of the work here), one might think that the idea of bullying a Whopper Jr. would be too goofy to work but, in the end, its message does work. It vividly demonstrates a sad truth about bullying—that bullying is enabled when bystanders turn the other way rather than get involved.

Earlier in his tenure at Burger King, Machado placed the restaurant squarely on the side of LGBT Americans by wrapping its Whoppers in rainbow paper for Pride Week.

In the “Whopper Neutrality” stunt it trolls the Trump administration’s decision to repeal net neutrality, which would allow internet providers to surge prices for faster speeds and censor or prioritize content. Net neutrality is a complicated topic, which is where Burger King came in and explained the whole thing in layman’s terms so people can make an informed decision.

BK has long emphasized its distinctive flame-grilled cooking technique in highly unusual ways. Last year it ran a series of print ads, which show photos of actual BK restaurants fully ablaze to remind people that BK always flame-grills its burgers. This year, on National Good Samaritan Day, rather than spend 15 minutes whipping up a dumb social post, BK went the extra mile with a fun real-world stunt – staging a car fire on the side of a highway, and then offering a special treat to the good Samaritans who stopped to help.

The chain’s relentless focus on creativity is grounded in powerful consumer insights. As might be expected of a private equity firm that lives and dies by the numbers, 3G Capital’s affinity for data means that it measures absolutely everything – from general brand health and sales to the number of people entering its restaurants. Decisions are prompted by data but not determined by it alone. BK marketers apply judgment and skill when assessing risk and the potential of ideas.

Machado also led Burger King into technically inventive territory by “invading” the Google Home devices in 2017: BK rolled out an ad on YouTube and an actor playing a BK employee says to the camera, “OK, Google, what is the Whopper burger?” This triggered Google Homes in viewers’ houses to rattle off the first paragraph of the Wikipedia entry about the Whopper.

Last year, for the introduction of its new app, BK adopted GPS technology. Called "Whopper Detour," it made an offer of 1¢ for the Whopper – but only available to those people that are 600 feet from any McDonald's location. Thus, upon placing the order, it "detoured" customers away from the McDonald's and directed to the nearest Burger King restaurant for pickup.

BK advertising is experience and purpose driven. The videos are highly immersive and emotional, and the specificity of the advertising’s product focus allows the executional context to play broadly and be engaging. The advertising remains fresh and relevant by zigging and zagging using quick, short hits, often topical ads to spike attention.

In short, it feels more like a publication with many different articles and topics than the linear approach of traditional advertising.


My 2018 Advertiser Of The Year Has An Appetite For Big Ideas

Ever since the financial crisis of 2008 and the collapse of Lehman Brothers, companies have been leery of risk. This is true of their marketing operations also. But, time and again, there’s ample evidence that, in today’s fast moving environment and accelerated rate of technological innovation, not taking a risk is the biggest risk.

My 2018 Advertiser of the Year is not a start-up. It’s a 65-year old company. It’s not a sexy tech or entertainment company. It is an old-fashioned, low tech outfit, one which hasn’t changed for generations. It’s not the 800-pound gorilla and it doesn’t have the deepest pockets. In fact, it’s a challenger brand.

However, even as just the fourth or fifth biggest brand in the vertical, it dominates the conversation, and bigger brands constantly look behind their collective shoulders to see what is coming next. This brand embraces bold risks and advertising that pushes the envelope and, importantly, differentiates it from its competitors.

This brand, and my choice for 2018 Advertiser of the Year, is Burger King.

In 2010, 3G Capital, a private-equity fund led by a group of Brazilian investors, paid $3.3 billion for Burger King. The deal was mocked at the time because the price was considered high for a chain that was perceived as in decline, in an economy still reeling from the most recent financial crisis . Yet, the investors put $1.2 billion of its own cash into the deal and has, in fact, made several times that in the years since. In 2017 BK was estimated to be worth $12.5 billion.

Nobody is laughing now.Under 3G, Burger King did 3 things:

  • It quickly refranchised restaurants to operators and connected refranchise deals with remodeling requirements.
  • It started aggressively developing locations in international markets.
  • It cut general and administrative spending to the bone, thus reducing overhead costs per restaurant by nearly two-thirds.

Most importantly, BK refocused on marketing and advertising. Private equity typically sees marketing as an expense, and not as investment, and, therefore, they often curtail this type of spending. But, 3G Capital thought that the brand they bought was bigger than the business.

Fernando Machado, CMO of Burger King

One of the first moves of BK was hiring a trailblazing CMO from Unilever. Fernando Machado is well known as an innovator and risk-taker and, most of all, best-known for Dove’s “Real Beauty” before joining Burger King. Machado hired an FBI-trained forensic artist, to draw two blind sketches for each of several women – the first based on how other women described them, and the second on how they described themselves. The startling differences between the drawings showed how severely many women judge themselves. Posted with the tagline “You’re more beautiful than you think,” the video has racked up well over 80 million views on YouTube.

Under Machado, BK started going where other brands have traditionally feared to tread. Not in the least is its willingness to run social-issue campaigns – usually, an image and financial potential graveyard for advertisers. However, this is done in an authentic and credible way. And this is not done at the expense of selling burgers. While purposeful, the ads are well branded, and profits are realized.

In “Bullying Jr.,” a PSA-like anti-bullying campaign created by the David Miami ad agency (as is most of the work here), one might think that the idea of bullying a Whopper Jr. would be too goofy to work but, in the end, its message does work. It vividly demonstrates a sad truth about bullying—that bullying is enabled when bystanders turn the other way rather than get involved.

Earlier in his tenure at Burger King, Machado placed the restaurant squarely on the side of LGBT Americans by wrapping its Whoppers in rainbow paper for Pride Week.

In the “Whopper Neutrality” stunt it trolls the Trump administration’s decision to repeal net neutrality, which would allow internet providers to surge prices for faster speeds and censor or prioritize content. Net neutrality is a complicated topic, which is where Burger King came in and explained the whole thing in layman’s terms so people can make an informed decision.

BK has long emphasized its distinctive flame-grilled cooking technique in highly unusual ways. Last year it ran a series of print ads, which show photos of actual BK restaurants fully ablaze to remind people that BK always flame-grills its burgers. This year, on National Good Samaritan Day, rather than spend 15 minutes whipping up a dumb social post, BK went the extra mile with a fun real-world stunt – staging a car fire on the side of a highway, and then offering a special treat to the good Samaritans who stopped to help.

The chain’s relentless focus on creativity is grounded in powerful consumer insights. As might be expected of a private equity firm that lives and dies by the numbers, 3G Capital’s affinity for data means that it measures absolutely everything – from general brand health and sales to the number of people entering its restaurants. Decisions are prompted by data but not determined by it alone. BK marketers apply judgment and skill when assessing risk and the potential of ideas.

Machado also led Burger King into technically inventive territory by “invading” the Google Home devices in 2017: BK rolled out an ad on YouTube and an actor playing a BK employee says to the camera, “OK, Google, what is the Whopper burger?” This triggered Google Homes in viewers’ houses to rattle off the first paragraph of the Wikipedia entry about the Whopper.

Last year, for the introduction of its new app, BK adopted GPS technology. Called "Whopper Detour," it made an offer of 1¢ for the Whopper – but only available to those people that are 600 feet from any McDonald's location. Thus, upon placing the order, it "detoured" customers away from the McDonald's and directed to the nearest Burger King restaurant for pickup.

BK advertising is experience and purpose driven. The videos are highly immersive and emotional, and the specificity of the advertising’s product focus allows the executional context to play broadly and be engaging. The advertising remains fresh and relevant by zigging and zagging using quick, short hits, often topical ads to spike attention.

In short, it feels more like a publication with many different articles and topics than the linear approach of traditional advertising.


My 2018 Advertiser Of The Year Has An Appetite For Big Ideas

Ever since the financial crisis of 2008 and the collapse of Lehman Brothers, companies have been leery of risk. This is true of their marketing operations also. But, time and again, there’s ample evidence that, in today’s fast moving environment and accelerated rate of technological innovation, not taking a risk is the biggest risk.

My 2018 Advertiser of the Year is not a start-up. It’s a 65-year old company. It’s not a sexy tech or entertainment company. It is an old-fashioned, low tech outfit, one which hasn’t changed for generations. It’s not the 800-pound gorilla and it doesn’t have the deepest pockets. In fact, it’s a challenger brand.

However, even as just the fourth or fifth biggest brand in the vertical, it dominates the conversation, and bigger brands constantly look behind their collective shoulders to see what is coming next. This brand embraces bold risks and advertising that pushes the envelope and, importantly, differentiates it from its competitors.

This brand, and my choice for 2018 Advertiser of the Year, is Burger King.

In 2010, 3G Capital, a private-equity fund led by a group of Brazilian investors, paid $3.3 billion for Burger King. The deal was mocked at the time because the price was considered high for a chain that was perceived as in decline, in an economy still reeling from the most recent financial crisis . Yet, the investors put $1.2 billion of its own cash into the deal and has, in fact, made several times that in the years since. In 2017 BK was estimated to be worth $12.5 billion.

Nobody is laughing now.Under 3G, Burger King did 3 things:

  • It quickly refranchised restaurants to operators and connected refranchise deals with remodeling requirements.
  • It started aggressively developing locations in international markets.
  • It cut general and administrative spending to the bone, thus reducing overhead costs per restaurant by nearly two-thirds.

Most importantly, BK refocused on marketing and advertising. Private equity typically sees marketing as an expense, and not as investment, and, therefore, they often curtail this type of spending. But, 3G Capital thought that the brand they bought was bigger than the business.

Fernando Machado, CMO of Burger King

One of the first moves of BK was hiring a trailblazing CMO from Unilever. Fernando Machado is well known as an innovator and risk-taker and, most of all, best-known for Dove’s “Real Beauty” before joining Burger King. Machado hired an FBI-trained forensic artist, to draw two blind sketches for each of several women – the first based on how other women described them, and the second on how they described themselves. The startling differences between the drawings showed how severely many women judge themselves. Posted with the tagline “You’re more beautiful than you think,” the video has racked up well over 80 million views on YouTube.

Under Machado, BK started going where other brands have traditionally feared to tread. Not in the least is its willingness to run social-issue campaigns – usually, an image and financial potential graveyard for advertisers. However, this is done in an authentic and credible way. And this is not done at the expense of selling burgers. While purposeful, the ads are well branded, and profits are realized.

In “Bullying Jr.,” a PSA-like anti-bullying campaign created by the David Miami ad agency (as is most of the work here), one might think that the idea of bullying a Whopper Jr. would be too goofy to work but, in the end, its message does work. It vividly demonstrates a sad truth about bullying—that bullying is enabled when bystanders turn the other way rather than get involved.

Earlier in his tenure at Burger King, Machado placed the restaurant squarely on the side of LGBT Americans by wrapping its Whoppers in rainbow paper for Pride Week.

In the “Whopper Neutrality” stunt it trolls the Trump administration’s decision to repeal net neutrality, which would allow internet providers to surge prices for faster speeds and censor or prioritize content. Net neutrality is a complicated topic, which is where Burger King came in and explained the whole thing in layman’s terms so people can make an informed decision.

BK has long emphasized its distinctive flame-grilled cooking technique in highly unusual ways. Last year it ran a series of print ads, which show photos of actual BK restaurants fully ablaze to remind people that BK always flame-grills its burgers. This year, on National Good Samaritan Day, rather than spend 15 minutes whipping up a dumb social post, BK went the extra mile with a fun real-world stunt – staging a car fire on the side of a highway, and then offering a special treat to the good Samaritans who stopped to help.

The chain’s relentless focus on creativity is grounded in powerful consumer insights. As might be expected of a private equity firm that lives and dies by the numbers, 3G Capital’s affinity for data means that it measures absolutely everything – from general brand health and sales to the number of people entering its restaurants. Decisions are prompted by data but not determined by it alone. BK marketers apply judgment and skill when assessing risk and the potential of ideas.

Machado also led Burger King into technically inventive territory by “invading” the Google Home devices in 2017: BK rolled out an ad on YouTube and an actor playing a BK employee says to the camera, “OK, Google, what is the Whopper burger?” This triggered Google Homes in viewers’ houses to rattle off the first paragraph of the Wikipedia entry about the Whopper.

Last year, for the introduction of its new app, BK adopted GPS technology. Called "Whopper Detour," it made an offer of 1¢ for the Whopper – but only available to those people that are 600 feet from any McDonald's location. Thus, upon placing the order, it "detoured" customers away from the McDonald's and directed to the nearest Burger King restaurant for pickup.

BK advertising is experience and purpose driven. The videos are highly immersive and emotional, and the specificity of the advertising’s product focus allows the executional context to play broadly and be engaging. The advertising remains fresh and relevant by zigging and zagging using quick, short hits, often topical ads to spike attention.

In short, it feels more like a publication with many different articles and topics than the linear approach of traditional advertising.


My 2018 Advertiser Of The Year Has An Appetite For Big Ideas

Ever since the financial crisis of 2008 and the collapse of Lehman Brothers, companies have been leery of risk. This is true of their marketing operations also. But, time and again, there’s ample evidence that, in today’s fast moving environment and accelerated rate of technological innovation, not taking a risk is the biggest risk.

My 2018 Advertiser of the Year is not a start-up. It’s a 65-year old company. It’s not a sexy tech or entertainment company. It is an old-fashioned, low tech outfit, one which hasn’t changed for generations. It’s not the 800-pound gorilla and it doesn’t have the deepest pockets. In fact, it’s a challenger brand.

However, even as just the fourth or fifth biggest brand in the vertical, it dominates the conversation, and bigger brands constantly look behind their collective shoulders to see what is coming next. This brand embraces bold risks and advertising that pushes the envelope and, importantly, differentiates it from its competitors.

This brand, and my choice for 2018 Advertiser of the Year, is Burger King.

In 2010, 3G Capital, a private-equity fund led by a group of Brazilian investors, paid $3.3 billion for Burger King. The deal was mocked at the time because the price was considered high for a chain that was perceived as in decline, in an economy still reeling from the most recent financial crisis . Yet, the investors put $1.2 billion of its own cash into the deal and has, in fact, made several times that in the years since. In 2017 BK was estimated to be worth $12.5 billion.

Nobody is laughing now.Under 3G, Burger King did 3 things:

  • It quickly refranchised restaurants to operators and connected refranchise deals with remodeling requirements.
  • It started aggressively developing locations in international markets.
  • It cut general and administrative spending to the bone, thus reducing overhead costs per restaurant by nearly two-thirds.

Most importantly, BK refocused on marketing and advertising. Private equity typically sees marketing as an expense, and not as investment, and, therefore, they often curtail this type of spending. But, 3G Capital thought that the brand they bought was bigger than the business.

Fernando Machado, CMO of Burger King

One of the first moves of BK was hiring a trailblazing CMO from Unilever. Fernando Machado is well known as an innovator and risk-taker and, most of all, best-known for Dove’s “Real Beauty” before joining Burger King. Machado hired an FBI-trained forensic artist, to draw two blind sketches for each of several women – the first based on how other women described them, and the second on how they described themselves. The startling differences between the drawings showed how severely many women judge themselves. Posted with the tagline “You’re more beautiful than you think,” the video has racked up well over 80 million views on YouTube.

Under Machado, BK started going where other brands have traditionally feared to tread. Not in the least is its willingness to run social-issue campaigns – usually, an image and financial potential graveyard for advertisers. However, this is done in an authentic and credible way. And this is not done at the expense of selling burgers. While purposeful, the ads are well branded, and profits are realized.

In “Bullying Jr.,” a PSA-like anti-bullying campaign created by the David Miami ad agency (as is most of the work here), one might think that the idea of bullying a Whopper Jr. would be too goofy to work but, in the end, its message does work. It vividly demonstrates a sad truth about bullying—that bullying is enabled when bystanders turn the other way rather than get involved.

Earlier in his tenure at Burger King, Machado placed the restaurant squarely on the side of LGBT Americans by wrapping its Whoppers in rainbow paper for Pride Week.

In the “Whopper Neutrality” stunt it trolls the Trump administration’s decision to repeal net neutrality, which would allow internet providers to surge prices for faster speeds and censor or prioritize content. Net neutrality is a complicated topic, which is where Burger King came in and explained the whole thing in layman’s terms so people can make an informed decision.

BK has long emphasized its distinctive flame-grilled cooking technique in highly unusual ways. Last year it ran a series of print ads, which show photos of actual BK restaurants fully ablaze to remind people that BK always flame-grills its burgers. This year, on National Good Samaritan Day, rather than spend 15 minutes whipping up a dumb social post, BK went the extra mile with a fun real-world stunt – staging a car fire on the side of a highway, and then offering a special treat to the good Samaritans who stopped to help.

The chain’s relentless focus on creativity is grounded in powerful consumer insights. As might be expected of a private equity firm that lives and dies by the numbers, 3G Capital’s affinity for data means that it measures absolutely everything – from general brand health and sales to the number of people entering its restaurants. Decisions are prompted by data but not determined by it alone. BK marketers apply judgment and skill when assessing risk and the potential of ideas.

Machado also led Burger King into technically inventive territory by “invading” the Google Home devices in 2017: BK rolled out an ad on YouTube and an actor playing a BK employee says to the camera, “OK, Google, what is the Whopper burger?” This triggered Google Homes in viewers’ houses to rattle off the first paragraph of the Wikipedia entry about the Whopper.

Last year, for the introduction of its new app, BK adopted GPS technology. Called "Whopper Detour," it made an offer of 1¢ for the Whopper – but only available to those people that are 600 feet from any McDonald's location. Thus, upon placing the order, it "detoured" customers away from the McDonald's and directed to the nearest Burger King restaurant for pickup.

BK advertising is experience and purpose driven. The videos are highly immersive and emotional, and the specificity of the advertising’s product focus allows the executional context to play broadly and be engaging. The advertising remains fresh and relevant by zigging and zagging using quick, short hits, often topical ads to spike attention.

In short, it feels more like a publication with many different articles and topics than the linear approach of traditional advertising.


My 2018 Advertiser Of The Year Has An Appetite For Big Ideas

Ever since the financial crisis of 2008 and the collapse of Lehman Brothers, companies have been leery of risk. This is true of their marketing operations also. But, time and again, there’s ample evidence that, in today’s fast moving environment and accelerated rate of technological innovation, not taking a risk is the biggest risk.

My 2018 Advertiser of the Year is not a start-up. It’s a 65-year old company. It’s not a sexy tech or entertainment company. It is an old-fashioned, low tech outfit, one which hasn’t changed for generations. It’s not the 800-pound gorilla and it doesn’t have the deepest pockets. In fact, it’s a challenger brand.

However, even as just the fourth or fifth biggest brand in the vertical, it dominates the conversation, and bigger brands constantly look behind their collective shoulders to see what is coming next. This brand embraces bold risks and advertising that pushes the envelope and, importantly, differentiates it from its competitors.

This brand, and my choice for 2018 Advertiser of the Year, is Burger King.

In 2010, 3G Capital, a private-equity fund led by a group of Brazilian investors, paid $3.3 billion for Burger King. The deal was mocked at the time because the price was considered high for a chain that was perceived as in decline, in an economy still reeling from the most recent financial crisis . Yet, the investors put $1.2 billion of its own cash into the deal and has, in fact, made several times that in the years since. In 2017 BK was estimated to be worth $12.5 billion.

Nobody is laughing now.Under 3G, Burger King did 3 things:

  • It quickly refranchised restaurants to operators and connected refranchise deals with remodeling requirements.
  • It started aggressively developing locations in international markets.
  • It cut general and administrative spending to the bone, thus reducing overhead costs per restaurant by nearly two-thirds.

Most importantly, BK refocused on marketing and advertising. Private equity typically sees marketing as an expense, and not as investment, and, therefore, they often curtail this type of spending. But, 3G Capital thought that the brand they bought was bigger than the business.

Fernando Machado, CMO of Burger King

One of the first moves of BK was hiring a trailblazing CMO from Unilever. Fernando Machado is well known as an innovator and risk-taker and, most of all, best-known for Dove’s “Real Beauty” before joining Burger King. Machado hired an FBI-trained forensic artist, to draw two blind sketches for each of several women – the first based on how other women described them, and the second on how they described themselves. The startling differences between the drawings showed how severely many women judge themselves. Posted with the tagline “You’re more beautiful than you think,” the video has racked up well over 80 million views on YouTube.

Under Machado, BK started going where other brands have traditionally feared to tread. Not in the least is its willingness to run social-issue campaigns – usually, an image and financial potential graveyard for advertisers. However, this is done in an authentic and credible way. And this is not done at the expense of selling burgers. While purposeful, the ads are well branded, and profits are realized.

In “Bullying Jr.,” a PSA-like anti-bullying campaign created by the David Miami ad agency (as is most of the work here), one might think that the idea of bullying a Whopper Jr. would be too goofy to work but, in the end, its message does work. It vividly demonstrates a sad truth about bullying—that bullying is enabled when bystanders turn the other way rather than get involved.

Earlier in his tenure at Burger King, Machado placed the restaurant squarely on the side of LGBT Americans by wrapping its Whoppers in rainbow paper for Pride Week.

In the “Whopper Neutrality” stunt it trolls the Trump administration’s decision to repeal net neutrality, which would allow internet providers to surge prices for faster speeds and censor or prioritize content. Net neutrality is a complicated topic, which is where Burger King came in and explained the whole thing in layman’s terms so people can make an informed decision.

BK has long emphasized its distinctive flame-grilled cooking technique in highly unusual ways. Last year it ran a series of print ads, which show photos of actual BK restaurants fully ablaze to remind people that BK always flame-grills its burgers. This year, on National Good Samaritan Day, rather than spend 15 minutes whipping up a dumb social post, BK went the extra mile with a fun real-world stunt – staging a car fire on the side of a highway, and then offering a special treat to the good Samaritans who stopped to help.

The chain’s relentless focus on creativity is grounded in powerful consumer insights. As might be expected of a private equity firm that lives and dies by the numbers, 3G Capital’s affinity for data means that it measures absolutely everything – from general brand health and sales to the number of people entering its restaurants. Decisions are prompted by data but not determined by it alone. BK marketers apply judgment and skill when assessing risk and the potential of ideas.

Machado also led Burger King into technically inventive territory by “invading” the Google Home devices in 2017: BK rolled out an ad on YouTube and an actor playing a BK employee says to the camera, “OK, Google, what is the Whopper burger?” This triggered Google Homes in viewers’ houses to rattle off the first paragraph of the Wikipedia entry about the Whopper.

Last year, for the introduction of its new app, BK adopted GPS technology. Called "Whopper Detour," it made an offer of 1¢ for the Whopper – but only available to those people that are 600 feet from any McDonald's location. Thus, upon placing the order, it "detoured" customers away from the McDonald's and directed to the nearest Burger King restaurant for pickup.

BK advertising is experience and purpose driven. The videos are highly immersive and emotional, and the specificity of the advertising’s product focus allows the executional context to play broadly and be engaging. The advertising remains fresh and relevant by zigging and zagging using quick, short hits, often topical ads to spike attention.

In short, it feels more like a publication with many different articles and topics than the linear approach of traditional advertising.


My 2018 Advertiser Of The Year Has An Appetite For Big Ideas

Ever since the financial crisis of 2008 and the collapse of Lehman Brothers, companies have been leery of risk. This is true of their marketing operations also. But, time and again, there’s ample evidence that, in today’s fast moving environment and accelerated rate of technological innovation, not taking a risk is the biggest risk.

My 2018 Advertiser of the Year is not a start-up. It’s a 65-year old company. It’s not a sexy tech or entertainment company. It is an old-fashioned, low tech outfit, one which hasn’t changed for generations. It’s not the 800-pound gorilla and it doesn’t have the deepest pockets. In fact, it’s a challenger brand.

However, even as just the fourth or fifth biggest brand in the vertical, it dominates the conversation, and bigger brands constantly look behind their collective shoulders to see what is coming next. This brand embraces bold risks and advertising that pushes the envelope and, importantly, differentiates it from its competitors.

This brand, and my choice for 2018 Advertiser of the Year, is Burger King.

In 2010, 3G Capital, a private-equity fund led by a group of Brazilian investors, paid $3.3 billion for Burger King. The deal was mocked at the time because the price was considered high for a chain that was perceived as in decline, in an economy still reeling from the most recent financial crisis . Yet, the investors put $1.2 billion of its own cash into the deal and has, in fact, made several times that in the years since. In 2017 BK was estimated to be worth $12.5 billion.

Nobody is laughing now.Under 3G, Burger King did 3 things:

  • It quickly refranchised restaurants to operators and connected refranchise deals with remodeling requirements.
  • It started aggressively developing locations in international markets.
  • It cut general and administrative spending to the bone, thus reducing overhead costs per restaurant by nearly two-thirds.

Most importantly, BK refocused on marketing and advertising. Private equity typically sees marketing as an expense, and not as investment, and, therefore, they often curtail this type of spending. But, 3G Capital thought that the brand they bought was bigger than the business.

Fernando Machado, CMO of Burger King

One of the first moves of BK was hiring a trailblazing CMO from Unilever. Fernando Machado is well known as an innovator and risk-taker and, most of all, best-known for Dove’s “Real Beauty” before joining Burger King. Machado hired an FBI-trained forensic artist, to draw two blind sketches for each of several women – the first based on how other women described them, and the second on how they described themselves. The startling differences between the drawings showed how severely many women judge themselves. Posted with the tagline “You’re more beautiful than you think,” the video has racked up well over 80 million views on YouTube.

Under Machado, BK started going where other brands have traditionally feared to tread. Not in the least is its willingness to run social-issue campaigns – usually, an image and financial potential graveyard for advertisers. However, this is done in an authentic and credible way. And this is not done at the expense of selling burgers. While purposeful, the ads are well branded, and profits are realized.

In “Bullying Jr.,” a PSA-like anti-bullying campaign created by the David Miami ad agency (as is most of the work here), one might think that the idea of bullying a Whopper Jr. would be too goofy to work but, in the end, its message does work. It vividly demonstrates a sad truth about bullying—that bullying is enabled when bystanders turn the other way rather than get involved.

Earlier in his tenure at Burger King, Machado placed the restaurant squarely on the side of LGBT Americans by wrapping its Whoppers in rainbow paper for Pride Week.

In the “Whopper Neutrality” stunt it trolls the Trump administration’s decision to repeal net neutrality, which would allow internet providers to surge prices for faster speeds and censor or prioritize content. Net neutrality is a complicated topic, which is where Burger King came in and explained the whole thing in layman’s terms so people can make an informed decision.

BK has long emphasized its distinctive flame-grilled cooking technique in highly unusual ways. Last year it ran a series of print ads, which show photos of actual BK restaurants fully ablaze to remind people that BK always flame-grills its burgers. This year, on National Good Samaritan Day, rather than spend 15 minutes whipping up a dumb social post, BK went the extra mile with a fun real-world stunt – staging a car fire on the side of a highway, and then offering a special treat to the good Samaritans who stopped to help.

The chain’s relentless focus on creativity is grounded in powerful consumer insights. As might be expected of a private equity firm that lives and dies by the numbers, 3G Capital’s affinity for data means that it measures absolutely everything – from general brand health and sales to the number of people entering its restaurants. Decisions are prompted by data but not determined by it alone. BK marketers apply judgment and skill when assessing risk and the potential of ideas.

Machado also led Burger King into technically inventive territory by “invading” the Google Home devices in 2017: BK rolled out an ad on YouTube and an actor playing a BK employee says to the camera, “OK, Google, what is the Whopper burger?” This triggered Google Homes in viewers’ houses to rattle off the first paragraph of the Wikipedia entry about the Whopper.

Last year, for the introduction of its new app, BK adopted GPS technology. Called "Whopper Detour," it made an offer of 1¢ for the Whopper – but only available to those people that are 600 feet from any McDonald's location. Thus, upon placing the order, it "detoured" customers away from the McDonald's and directed to the nearest Burger King restaurant for pickup.

BK advertising is experience and purpose driven. The videos are highly immersive and emotional, and the specificity of the advertising’s product focus allows the executional context to play broadly and be engaging. The advertising remains fresh and relevant by zigging and zagging using quick, short hits, often topical ads to spike attention.

In short, it feels more like a publication with many different articles and topics than the linear approach of traditional advertising.


My 2018 Advertiser Of The Year Has An Appetite For Big Ideas

Ever since the financial crisis of 2008 and the collapse of Lehman Brothers, companies have been leery of risk. This is true of their marketing operations also. But, time and again, there’s ample evidence that, in today’s fast moving environment and accelerated rate of technological innovation, not taking a risk is the biggest risk.

My 2018 Advertiser of the Year is not a start-up. It’s a 65-year old company. It’s not a sexy tech or entertainment company. It is an old-fashioned, low tech outfit, one which hasn’t changed for generations. It’s not the 800-pound gorilla and it doesn’t have the deepest pockets. In fact, it’s a challenger brand.

However, even as just the fourth or fifth biggest brand in the vertical, it dominates the conversation, and bigger brands constantly look behind their collective shoulders to see what is coming next. This brand embraces bold risks and advertising that pushes the envelope and, importantly, differentiates it from its competitors.

This brand, and my choice for 2018 Advertiser of the Year, is Burger King.

In 2010, 3G Capital, a private-equity fund led by a group of Brazilian investors, paid $3.3 billion for Burger King. The deal was mocked at the time because the price was considered high for a chain that was perceived as in decline, in an economy still reeling from the most recent financial crisis . Yet, the investors put $1.2 billion of its own cash into the deal and has, in fact, made several times that in the years since. In 2017 BK was estimated to be worth $12.5 billion.

Nobody is laughing now.Under 3G, Burger King did 3 things:

  • It quickly refranchised restaurants to operators and connected refranchise deals with remodeling requirements.
  • It started aggressively developing locations in international markets.
  • It cut general and administrative spending to the bone, thus reducing overhead costs per restaurant by nearly two-thirds.

Most importantly, BK refocused on marketing and advertising. Private equity typically sees marketing as an expense, and not as investment, and, therefore, they often curtail this type of spending. But, 3G Capital thought that the brand they bought was bigger than the business.

Fernando Machado, CMO of Burger King

One of the first moves of BK was hiring a trailblazing CMO from Unilever. Fernando Machado is well known as an innovator and risk-taker and, most of all, best-known for Dove’s “Real Beauty” before joining Burger King. Machado hired an FBI-trained forensic artist, to draw two blind sketches for each of several women – the first based on how other women described them, and the second on how they described themselves. The startling differences between the drawings showed how severely many women judge themselves. Posted with the tagline “You’re more beautiful than you think,” the video has racked up well over 80 million views on YouTube.

Under Machado, BK started going where other brands have traditionally feared to tread. Not in the least is its willingness to run social-issue campaigns – usually, an image and financial potential graveyard for advertisers. However, this is done in an authentic and credible way. And this is not done at the expense of selling burgers. While purposeful, the ads are well branded, and profits are realized.

In “Bullying Jr.,” a PSA-like anti-bullying campaign created by the David Miami ad agency (as is most of the work here), one might think that the idea of bullying a Whopper Jr. would be too goofy to work but, in the end, its message does work. It vividly demonstrates a sad truth about bullying—that bullying is enabled when bystanders turn the other way rather than get involved.

Earlier in his tenure at Burger King, Machado placed the restaurant squarely on the side of LGBT Americans by wrapping its Whoppers in rainbow paper for Pride Week.

In the “Whopper Neutrality” stunt it trolls the Trump administration’s decision to repeal net neutrality, which would allow internet providers to surge prices for faster speeds and censor or prioritize content. Net neutrality is a complicated topic, which is where Burger King came in and explained the whole thing in layman’s terms so people can make an informed decision.

BK has long emphasized its distinctive flame-grilled cooking technique in highly unusual ways. Last year it ran a series of print ads, which show photos of actual BK restaurants fully ablaze to remind people that BK always flame-grills its burgers. This year, on National Good Samaritan Day, rather than spend 15 minutes whipping up a dumb social post, BK went the extra mile with a fun real-world stunt – staging a car fire on the side of a highway, and then offering a special treat to the good Samaritans who stopped to help.

The chain’s relentless focus on creativity is grounded in powerful consumer insights. As might be expected of a private equity firm that lives and dies by the numbers, 3G Capital’s affinity for data means that it measures absolutely everything – from general brand health and sales to the number of people entering its restaurants. Decisions are prompted by data but not determined by it alone. BK marketers apply judgment and skill when assessing risk and the potential of ideas.

Machado also led Burger King into technically inventive territory by “invading” the Google Home devices in 2017: BK rolled out an ad on YouTube and an actor playing a BK employee says to the camera, “OK, Google, what is the Whopper burger?” This triggered Google Homes in viewers’ houses to rattle off the first paragraph of the Wikipedia entry about the Whopper.

Last year, for the introduction of its new app, BK adopted GPS technology. Called "Whopper Detour," it made an offer of 1¢ for the Whopper – but only available to those people that are 600 feet from any McDonald's location. Thus, upon placing the order, it "detoured" customers away from the McDonald's and directed to the nearest Burger King restaurant for pickup.

BK advertising is experience and purpose driven. The videos are highly immersive and emotional, and the specificity of the advertising’s product focus allows the executional context to play broadly and be engaging. The advertising remains fresh and relevant by zigging and zagging using quick, short hits, often topical ads to spike attention.

In short, it feels more like a publication with many different articles and topics than the linear approach of traditional advertising.


My 2018 Advertiser Of The Year Has An Appetite For Big Ideas

Ever since the financial crisis of 2008 and the collapse of Lehman Brothers, companies have been leery of risk. This is true of their marketing operations also. But, time and again, there’s ample evidence that, in today’s fast moving environment and accelerated rate of technological innovation, not taking a risk is the biggest risk.

My 2018 Advertiser of the Year is not a start-up. It’s a 65-year old company. It’s not a sexy tech or entertainment company. It is an old-fashioned, low tech outfit, one which hasn’t changed for generations. It’s not the 800-pound gorilla and it doesn’t have the deepest pockets. In fact, it’s a challenger brand.

However, even as just the fourth or fifth biggest brand in the vertical, it dominates the conversation, and bigger brands constantly look behind their collective shoulders to see what is coming next. This brand embraces bold risks and advertising that pushes the envelope and, importantly, differentiates it from its competitors.

This brand, and my choice for 2018 Advertiser of the Year, is Burger King.

In 2010, 3G Capital, a private-equity fund led by a group of Brazilian investors, paid $3.3 billion for Burger King. The deal was mocked at the time because the price was considered high for a chain that was perceived as in decline, in an economy still reeling from the most recent financial crisis . Yet, the investors put $1.2 billion of its own cash into the deal and has, in fact, made several times that in the years since. In 2017 BK was estimated to be worth $12.5 billion.

Nobody is laughing now.Under 3G, Burger King did 3 things:

  • It quickly refranchised restaurants to operators and connected refranchise deals with remodeling requirements.
  • It started aggressively developing locations in international markets.
  • It cut general and administrative spending to the bone, thus reducing overhead costs per restaurant by nearly two-thirds.

Most importantly, BK refocused on marketing and advertising. Private equity typically sees marketing as an expense, and not as investment, and, therefore, they often curtail this type of spending. But, 3G Capital thought that the brand they bought was bigger than the business.

Fernando Machado, CMO of Burger King

One of the first moves of BK was hiring a trailblazing CMO from Unilever. Fernando Machado is well known as an innovator and risk-taker and, most of all, best-known for Dove’s “Real Beauty” before joining Burger King. Machado hired an FBI-trained forensic artist, to draw two blind sketches for each of several women – the first based on how other women described them, and the second on how they described themselves. The startling differences between the drawings showed how severely many women judge themselves. Posted with the tagline “You’re more beautiful than you think,” the video has racked up well over 80 million views on YouTube.

Under Machado, BK started going where other brands have traditionally feared to tread. Not in the least is its willingness to run social-issue campaigns – usually, an image and financial potential graveyard for advertisers. However, this is done in an authentic and credible way. And this is not done at the expense of selling burgers. While purposeful, the ads are well branded, and profits are realized.

In “Bullying Jr.,” a PSA-like anti-bullying campaign created by the David Miami ad agency (as is most of the work here), one might think that the idea of bullying a Whopper Jr. would be too goofy to work but, in the end, its message does work. It vividly demonstrates a sad truth about bullying—that bullying is enabled when bystanders turn the other way rather than get involved.

Earlier in his tenure at Burger King, Machado placed the restaurant squarely on the side of LGBT Americans by wrapping its Whoppers in rainbow paper for Pride Week.

In the “Whopper Neutrality” stunt it trolls the Trump administration’s decision to repeal net neutrality, which would allow internet providers to surge prices for faster speeds and censor or prioritize content. Net neutrality is a complicated topic, which is where Burger King came in and explained the whole thing in layman’s terms so people can make an informed decision.

BK has long emphasized its distinctive flame-grilled cooking technique in highly unusual ways. Last year it ran a series of print ads, which show photos of actual BK restaurants fully ablaze to remind people that BK always flame-grills its burgers. This year, on National Good Samaritan Day, rather than spend 15 minutes whipping up a dumb social post, BK went the extra mile with a fun real-world stunt – staging a car fire on the side of a highway, and then offering a special treat to the good Samaritans who stopped to help.

The chain’s relentless focus on creativity is grounded in powerful consumer insights. As might be expected of a private equity firm that lives and dies by the numbers, 3G Capital’s affinity for data means that it measures absolutely everything – from general brand health and sales to the number of people entering its restaurants. Decisions are prompted by data but not determined by it alone. BK marketers apply judgment and skill when assessing risk and the potential of ideas.

Machado also led Burger King into technically inventive territory by “invading” the Google Home devices in 2017: BK rolled out an ad on YouTube and an actor playing a BK employee says to the camera, “OK, Google, what is the Whopper burger?” This triggered Google Homes in viewers’ houses to rattle off the first paragraph of the Wikipedia entry about the Whopper.

Last year, for the introduction of its new app, BK adopted GPS technology. Called "Whopper Detour," it made an offer of 1¢ for the Whopper – but only available to those people that are 600 feet from any McDonald's location. Thus, upon placing the order, it "detoured" customers away from the McDonald's and directed to the nearest Burger King restaurant for pickup.

BK advertising is experience and purpose driven. The videos are highly immersive and emotional, and the specificity of the advertising’s product focus allows the executional context to play broadly and be engaging. The advertising remains fresh and relevant by zigging and zagging using quick, short hits, often topical ads to spike attention.

In short, it feels more like a publication with many different articles and topics than the linear approach of traditional advertising.


My 2018 Advertiser Of The Year Has An Appetite For Big Ideas

Ever since the financial crisis of 2008 and the collapse of Lehman Brothers, companies have been leery of risk. This is true of their marketing operations also. But, time and again, there’s ample evidence that, in today’s fast moving environment and accelerated rate of technological innovation, not taking a risk is the biggest risk.

My 2018 Advertiser of the Year is not a start-up. It’s a 65-year old company. It’s not a sexy tech or entertainment company. It is an old-fashioned, low tech outfit, one which hasn’t changed for generations. It’s not the 800-pound gorilla and it doesn’t have the deepest pockets. In fact, it’s a challenger brand.

However, even as just the fourth or fifth biggest brand in the vertical, it dominates the conversation, and bigger brands constantly look behind their collective shoulders to see what is coming next. This brand embraces bold risks and advertising that pushes the envelope and, importantly, differentiates it from its competitors.

This brand, and my choice for 2018 Advertiser of the Year, is Burger King.

In 2010, 3G Capital, a private-equity fund led by a group of Brazilian investors, paid $3.3 billion for Burger King. The deal was mocked at the time because the price was considered high for a chain that was perceived as in decline, in an economy still reeling from the most recent financial crisis . Yet, the investors put $1.2 billion of its own cash into the deal and has, in fact, made several times that in the years since. In 2017 BK was estimated to be worth $12.5 billion.

Nobody is laughing now.Under 3G, Burger King did 3 things:

  • It quickly refranchised restaurants to operators and connected refranchise deals with remodeling requirements.
  • It started aggressively developing locations in international markets.
  • It cut general and administrative spending to the bone, thus reducing overhead costs per restaurant by nearly two-thirds.

Most importantly, BK refocused on marketing and advertising. Private equity typically sees marketing as an expense, and not as investment, and, therefore, they often curtail this type of spending. But, 3G Capital thought that the brand they bought was bigger than the business.

Fernando Machado, CMO of Burger King

One of the first moves of BK was hiring a trailblazing CMO from Unilever. Fernando Machado is well known as an innovator and risk-taker and, most of all, best-known for Dove’s “Real Beauty” before joining Burger King. Machado hired an FBI-trained forensic artist, to draw two blind sketches for each of several women – the first based on how other women described them, and the second on how they described themselves. The startling differences between the drawings showed how severely many women judge themselves. Posted with the tagline “You’re more beautiful than you think,” the video has racked up well over 80 million views on YouTube.

Under Machado, BK started going where other brands have traditionally feared to tread. Not in the least is its willingness to run social-issue campaigns – usually, an image and financial potential graveyard for advertisers. However, this is done in an authentic and credible way. And this is not done at the expense of selling burgers. While purposeful, the ads are well branded, and profits are realized.

In “Bullying Jr.,” a PSA-like anti-bullying campaign created by the David Miami ad agency (as is most of the work here), one might think that the idea of bullying a Whopper Jr. would be too goofy to work but, in the end, its message does work. It vividly demonstrates a sad truth about bullying—that bullying is enabled when bystanders turn the other way rather than get involved.

Earlier in his tenure at Burger King, Machado placed the restaurant squarely on the side of LGBT Americans by wrapping its Whoppers in rainbow paper for Pride Week.

In the “Whopper Neutrality” stunt it trolls the Trump administration’s decision to repeal net neutrality, which would allow internet providers to surge prices for faster speeds and censor or prioritize content. Net neutrality is a complicated topic, which is where Burger King came in and explained the whole thing in layman’s terms so people can make an informed decision.

BK has long emphasized its distinctive flame-grilled cooking technique in highly unusual ways. Last year it ran a series of print ads, which show photos of actual BK restaurants fully ablaze to remind people that BK always flame-grills its burgers. This year, on National Good Samaritan Day, rather than spend 15 minutes whipping up a dumb social post, BK went the extra mile with a fun real-world stunt – staging a car fire on the side of a highway, and then offering a special treat to the good Samaritans who stopped to help.

The chain’s relentless focus on creativity is grounded in powerful consumer insights. As might be expected of a private equity firm that lives and dies by the numbers, 3G Capital’s affinity for data means that it measures absolutely everything – from general brand health and sales to the number of people entering its restaurants. Decisions are prompted by data but not determined by it alone. BK marketers apply judgment and skill when assessing risk and the potential of ideas.

Machado also led Burger King into technically inventive territory by “invading” the Google Home devices in 2017: BK rolled out an ad on YouTube and an actor playing a BK employee says to the camera, “OK, Google, what is the Whopper burger?” This triggered Google Homes in viewers’ houses to rattle off the first paragraph of the Wikipedia entry about the Whopper.

Last year, for the introduction of its new app, BK adopted GPS technology. Called "Whopper Detour," it made an offer of 1¢ for the Whopper – but only available to those people that are 600 feet from any McDonald's location. Thus, upon placing the order, it "detoured" customers away from the McDonald's and directed to the nearest Burger King restaurant for pickup.

BK advertising is experience and purpose driven. The videos are highly immersive and emotional, and the specificity of the advertising’s product focus allows the executional context to play broadly and be engaging. The advertising remains fresh and relevant by zigging and zagging using quick, short hits, often topical ads to spike attention.

In short, it feels more like a publication with many different articles and topics than the linear approach of traditional advertising.


My 2018 Advertiser Of The Year Has An Appetite For Big Ideas

Ever since the financial crisis of 2008 and the collapse of Lehman Brothers, companies have been leery of risk. This is true of their marketing operations also. But, time and again, there’s ample evidence that, in today’s fast moving environment and accelerated rate of technological innovation, not taking a risk is the biggest risk.

My 2018 Advertiser of the Year is not a start-up. It’s a 65-year old company. It’s not a sexy tech or entertainment company. It is an old-fashioned, low tech outfit, one which hasn’t changed for generations. It’s not the 800-pound gorilla and it doesn’t have the deepest pockets. In fact, it’s a challenger brand.

However, even as just the fourth or fifth biggest brand in the vertical, it dominates the conversation, and bigger brands constantly look behind their collective shoulders to see what is coming next. This brand embraces bold risks and advertising that pushes the envelope and, importantly, differentiates it from its competitors.

This brand, and my choice for 2018 Advertiser of the Year, is Burger King.

In 2010, 3G Capital, a private-equity fund led by a group of Brazilian investors, paid $3.3 billion for Burger King. The deal was mocked at the time because the price was considered high for a chain that was perceived as in decline, in an economy still reeling from the most recent financial crisis . Yet, the investors put $1.2 billion of its own cash into the deal and has, in fact, made several times that in the years since. In 2017 BK was estimated to be worth $12.5 billion.

Nobody is laughing now.Under 3G, Burger King did 3 things:

  • It quickly refranchised restaurants to operators and connected refranchise deals with remodeling requirements.
  • It started aggressively developing locations in international markets.
  • It cut general and administrative spending to the bone, thus reducing overhead costs per restaurant by nearly two-thirds.

Most importantly, BK refocused on marketing and advertising. Private equity typically sees marketing as an expense, and not as investment, and, therefore, they often curtail this type of spending. But, 3G Capital thought that the brand they bought was bigger than the business.

Fernando Machado, CMO of Burger King

One of the first moves of BK was hiring a trailblazing CMO from Unilever. Fernando Machado is well known as an innovator and risk-taker and, most of all, best-known for Dove’s “Real Beauty” before joining Burger King. Machado hired an FBI-trained forensic artist, to draw two blind sketches for each of several women – the first based on how other women described them, and the second on how they described themselves. The startling differences between the drawings showed how severely many women judge themselves. Posted with the tagline “You’re more beautiful than you think,” the video has racked up well over 80 million views on YouTube.

Under Machado, BK started going where other brands have traditionally feared to tread. Not in the least is its willingness to run social-issue campaigns – usually, an image and financial potential graveyard for advertisers. However, this is done in an authentic and credible way. And this is not done at the expense of selling burgers. While purposeful, the ads are well branded, and profits are realized.

In “Bullying Jr.,” a PSA-like anti-bullying campaign created by the David Miami ad agency (as is most of the work here), one might think that the idea of bullying a Whopper Jr. would be too goofy to work but, in the end, its message does work. It vividly demonstrates a sad truth about bullying—that bullying is enabled when bystanders turn the other way rather than get involved.

Earlier in his tenure at Burger King, Machado placed the restaurant squarely on the side of LGBT Americans by wrapping its Whoppers in rainbow paper for Pride Week.

In the “Whopper Neutrality” stunt it trolls the Trump administration’s decision to repeal net neutrality, which would allow internet providers to surge prices for faster speeds and censor or prioritize content. Net neutrality is a complicated topic, which is where Burger King came in and explained the whole thing in layman’s terms so people can make an informed decision.

BK has long emphasized its distinctive flame-grilled cooking technique in highly unusual ways. Last year it ran a series of print ads, which show photos of actual BK restaurants fully ablaze to remind people that BK always flame-grills its burgers. This year, on National Good Samaritan Day, rather than spend 15 minutes whipping up a dumb social post, BK went the extra mile with a fun real-world stunt – staging a car fire on the side of a highway, and then offering a special treat to the good Samaritans who stopped to help.

The chain’s relentless focus on creativity is grounded in powerful consumer insights. As might be expected of a private equity firm that lives and dies by the numbers, 3G Capital’s affinity for data means that it measures absolutely everything – from general brand health and sales to the number of people entering its restaurants. Decisions are prompted by data but not determined by it alone. BK marketers apply judgment and skill when assessing risk and the potential of ideas.

Machado also led Burger King into technically inventive territory by “invading” the Google Home devices in 2017: BK rolled out an ad on YouTube and an actor playing a BK employee says to the camera, “OK, Google, what is the Whopper burger?” This triggered Google Homes in viewers’ houses to rattle off the first paragraph of the Wikipedia entry about the Whopper.

Last year, for the introduction of its new app, BK adopted GPS technology. Called "Whopper Detour," it made an offer of 1¢ for the Whopper – but only available to those people that are 600 feet from any McDonald's location. Thus, upon placing the order, it "detoured" customers away from the McDonald's and directed to the nearest Burger King restaurant for pickup.

BK advertising is experience and purpose driven. The videos are highly immersive and emotional, and the specificity of the advertising’s product focus allows the executional context to play broadly and be engaging. The advertising remains fresh and relevant by zigging and zagging using quick, short hits, often topical ads to spike attention.

In short, it feels more like a publication with many different articles and topics than the linear approach of traditional advertising.


Watch the video: Burger Kings BRILLIANT New Ad Teaches Important Lesson (July 2022).


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