What can I say? Burger King is flying the flag of brilliance for all fast food chains out there.  

Two months ago, they won the hearts of millions when they urged people to buy from other fast food branches;

“We never thought we’d be asking you to do this, but restaurants employing thousands of staff really need your support at the moment.” – name-checking; KFC, Subway, Domino’s Pizza, Pizza Hut, Five Guys, Gregg’s, Taco Bell, Papa John’s Pizza and Leon in the post.

This wasn’t about marketing or advertising, but something much greater. We are living in such stressful and chaotic times. It’s uplifting to see companies that genuinely care. Not only about their own customers and employees. But about their “competitors” as well.

For some, this campaign didn’t pull on their heartstrings. Some called it cynic and a ploy instead to buy Burger Kings famous ‘Whooper’. The post did end with a plug for its own product – “Getting a Whopper is always best, but ordering a Big Mac is also not such a bad thing” – so a touch of healthy (or even unhealthy) scepticism may be in order.

If all else fails, try again?!

Burger King came back with something BIGGER. Something BETTER. Something much GREATER.

WHOPPER & FRIENDS

Burger King is supporting local restaurants who can’t market their brand and came up with a stunning campaign, “Whooper & Friends”.

They shared this image to their UK account and encouraged small businesses to use their Instagram for advertisement. 

And may I add, FOR FREE!!

The hospitality industry has consistently rallied together over the last few months and it’s great to see this continue.

There has been a fundamental shift; consumers are no longer only looking at brands as embodiments of certain values that appeal to them but more so as a cause that they can get behind. A clear sense of responsibility & purpose is now vital! No longer is it acceptable for a brand to be a ‘bit-part player’, to just add a ‘badge of support’ or run one-off PR initiatives.

As we have seen this year with various movements, silence & not being part of the conversation is not tolerated. Now more than ever it has become a necessity to openly state what you are about, what you believe in & what you are doing about it!

Talk is cheap!… Consumers want to see you walk that talk. Burger King seems to have figured this out with this (and other recent campaigns).

Most importantly people are loving it! “Worthy of respect”, “EPIC – what a statement”, “Thoughtful & Smart”, “Amazing Gesture”, “Others should follow”, “This hits so much better than the ‘Buy McDonald’s Ad!

This I believe will be the future of marketing in 2021 & beyond!

REBRANDING

Not only have they been pulling amazing campaigns out of the bag but they have also recently publicised their latest rebranding, “The announcement signals a commitment to digital-first expression and recent improvements to taste and food quality, through the removal of colours, flavours and preservatives from artificial sources from menu items, as well as an ambitious pledge to environmental sustainability.”

The fast-food chain’s first redesign in over 20 years brings back a 60s logo and introduces a brand new font, Flame inspired by the shape of its burgers, with a rich new colour palette, to create a more digital-friendly identity.

Burger King was inspired by their old logo from 1969-1988 and wanted the same feel for their rebrand; which was authentic, confident and simple. They wanted it to be long- lasting, timeless.

The font was inspired by the shapes of the restaurant’s food, “rounded, bold, yummy”. With these shapes, they needed new brand colours; they wanted their font to make people take a bite out of it. I think they have successfully achieved that! Fiery Red, Flaming Orange and BBQ Brown as their primary palette, with Mayo Egg White, Melty Yellow and Crunch Green as their secondary palette. A top-class font, matched with top-class colours. It’s a win, win for Burger King.

With the ever-changing digital world we live in, Burger King felt their visual identity wasn’t reflecting them as brand a anymore. This brought them to re-designing their packaging, merchandise, menus, uniforms, signage, décor and digital assets.

Burger King has had an incredible few months, I question will any other fast-food brands be able to compete with their genius campaigns and branding in 2021?

This is exactly what an industry leader brands like, acts like, and advertises like.

Hats off to Burger King.

Courtney McGoldrick is a third year BSc in Communication, Advertising & Marketing student at Ulster University. She can be found on LinkedIn, Instagram & Twitter.

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