Learn A Few Things About Marketing From Burger King
by Josh Amidon
I’ll admit it – I’m a full-grown man who loves wearing a Burger King crown. You’ll never know true happiness until you’ve gone to sleep with a Burger King crown on your head. Ask the Burger King CEO, Daniel Schwartz, about age limits for a crown and he’ll tell you “you’re never too old to wear one, we give out more crowns to adults than we do kids.” There’s a reason for that, adults like fun and Burger King realizes that.
One of the ways Burger King has fun is by ribbing their biggest competition, McDonald’s. Here’s just a few examples:
- In 2014, BK created a new sandwich – which openly and unapologetically ripped off McDonald’s Big Mac. Not only were the ingredients the same, but they even had the chutzpah to call it “Big King.”
- In 2015, the burger chain asked McDonald’s to combine efforts to create “The McWhopper”—a burger in recognition of World Peace Day – in which all proceeds from sandwich sales would go to charity. Burger King ran advertisements in the New York Times and the Chicago Tribune, and even made a website for the idea. McDonald’s turned down the request, which garnered some pretty bad PR among the public who loved the idea.
Just yesterday, BK has taken their food-feud to whole new heights. For Halloween, BK “dressed” one of their restaurants with a sheet and the word “McDonald’s” spray painted on it. But the prank doesn’t stop there, their sign reads: “Just kidding, we still flame grill our burgers.” McDonald’s better get some aloe, because they just got BURNED.
The lesson learned here is twofold:
- Don’t be afraid to have fun with your marketing – people like and respond to fun.
- Don’t pretend like your competition doesn’t exist. People know your competition exists, if you do something better than them, voice it.
By the way, it’s getting harder and harder to find those BK crowns, if someone finds me one – not only will I be your BFF for life, but I’ll give you a free 1-hour marketing consultation (OK, I do that anyway – but still, the BFF thing by itself is pretty valuable). You can always reach out to me at Josh@asterfg.com or 315-258-8780.