Who’s winning Burger Wars – From Genius Marketing to PR Fails

So today I continue my account of ‘Burger Wars’, what is Burger Wars you might ask? Burger Wars is the competition between McDonalds and Burger King. Two giants of the burger world, battling it out for the top spot. How do they do this? Well through their PR and Marketing Campaigns of course. Often making subtle references to their competitor or not so subtle in Burger King’s case.

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I wrote a post on my personal blog around a month ago, called ‘A Day Without a Whopper’ which you can find here. This detailed Burger King’s decision to stop selling their famous ‘Whopper’ burger for the day in aid of their competitor McDonald’s charity campaign. They told all their customers to go to McDonalds and instead buy a Big Mac as profits would go to charity. This came a few years after Burger King had tried to collaborate with McDonalds on the McWhopper, again for charity, but had been rejected by their competitor. Burger King just being charitable? I don’t think so, these were very clever and well thought through marketing campaigns designed to make Burger King look like the bigger person in this clash of titans.

So what’s happened since?

Well I have personally been seeing a lot on Twitter and LinkedIn about various PR and Marketing Campaigns from the giants – both good and bad. So I thought it was only fair that I summarise my findings in a blog post on the latest in this saga.

Genius Marketing

  1. McDonalds – It’s Not the Same Without the ‘M’

This campaign in particular I have seen widely shared across LinkedIn over the past week and it’s one that stuck with me proving how successful it was. McDonalds decided to stamp their branding in some of the busiest places in the world – Airports. Removing their signature letter ‘M’ for the titles of many well-known countries and simply using the slogan ‘It’s Not the Same Without the M’. One thing I loved about this campaign was this simplicity, it’s eye catching and straight to the point, you automatically known what brand it’s for and it makes you think of McDonalds. I know after a long flight, often the first thing I want is a quick and easy meal, so I think the positioning here is great.

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  1. Burger King – The Meltdown

Burger King decided to get on board with sustainability and vowed to stop producing plastic toys in its kid’s meals, as part of an aim to save 320 tonnes of single use plastic. The fast food restaurant now also offers a service where you can bring in your old plastic toys to be melted down and the opening week of this promotion you would receive a free kid’s meal in return for doing so. In typical Burger King style, they didn’t miss the opportunity to take a jibe at McDonald’s by stating their toys where ‘especially’ welcome in their promotional video. For me this is a huge win for Burger King, climate change and sustainability are such a talked about issue at the moment and this is the type of reaction we need from big brands and corporations.

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PR Fails

  1. McDonalds – ‘Bloody Sundae’

I’m sure most people have heard about this by now as it’s been highly reported on and sensitive issue, especially in Northern Ireland. But McDonald’s were the subject of a huge PR Fail, over a Halloween promotion of their Ice Cream in their Portugal stores featuring the slogan ‘Sundae Bloody Sundae’. McDonald’s has since issued a public apology stating that the campaign was not intended to reference historical events and that they sincerely apologise for any offence caused. However, this has not stopped residents of Northern Ireland and further afield being highly and rightly upset by the campaign.

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  1. Burger King – Milkshake Tweet

Burger King came under fire with the ASA recently about a tongue and cheek tweet stating ‘Dear people of Scotland, We’re selling milkshakes all weekend. Have fun.” The tweet came as a response to McDonald’s stopping selling milkshakes at the request of the police, due to politicians such as Nigel Farage being ‘milkshaked’ (having a milkshake thrown over them in the street). The ASA stated that they considered that the ad encourages ‘anti-social behaviour’ and banned the tweet.

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So who’s winning here?

In my eyes Burger King have the lead here, I love how reactive their PR and Marketing is and their constant focus on current issues. I think their constant ‘trolling’ and responding to McDonald’s is pretty humorous and clever and gives them the upper hand here.

 

Hannah Chambers is a final year BSc in Communication Management and Public Relations student at Ulster University. You can find her on – Twitter: @HannahC_PR  and LinkedIn: Hannah Chambers

5 Tools You Should Be Using If You Want to Be a Digital Content Creator

Through my job as a publicity assistant and content creator in a local PR company, it’s safe to say I’ve learnt a thing or two about creating social media content for clients. That being said before I started my job, I only had experience with one or two of these tools and have learnt on the job a lot of the way. However, getting used to using these tools now and practising with them is a great way to boost your CV and stand out to potential employers. So here’s my run down of 5 great content creation tools you should be using.

Canva

I feel like everybody and their granny talks about Canva now but surprisingly often when I bring it up I’m met by the response “What’s that?”. Canva is your best friend for creating infographics and stunning digital ads. The great part about it is, Canva is extremely user friendly and easy to get to grips with. You can type in the sort of design you are looking for, be it a Facebook banner, Instagram tile or anything you might ever need to create and it will bring up templates for you. The templates are then completely customisable with your own choice of pictures, fonts and colours. This makes it great if you are working for a brand that already has a clear brand image, as you can create graphics that will perfectly fit in with this by using the company colours and fonts.

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Lumen5

Lumen is one of my favourite content tools, as it’s a great way to turn a blog post into a piece of video content that can be shared on social media. You can simple paste the body of text into the control panel and it creates a video for you. It does take a bit of playing around with sometimes to fix the video and the background images it chooses for you, but overall you can create a video in under 30 mins that will promote a blog post and also get you good engagement on your social channels.

Hootsuite

Once you’ve created your content you are going to need a way to get it out there and a great way to do this is through social media scheduling. If you work off a content calendar Hootsuite will be your best friend as you get all your social media posts sorted in one go. You can add all your or your client’s social platforms to your account and schedule the same piece of content to go out across all your channels so you don’t have to do it manually. Top Tip: It’s best not to post on the hour or half an hour, as a lot of people do this and it’s means a lot of content going out at the same time on that platform so less chance of your posts being seen. Choose more random times such as 13:17 or 15:38.

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DaysofTheYear.Com

Using Days of The Year is a great way to keep your content fresh and relevant to your audience. You’’ find every single day of the year has a specific ‘day’ such as ‘National Video Game’ or ‘National Hug Your Friend Day’. These days’ range from the ordinary and popular to the most random and obscure things. Posts like this often have great share value as well as people can tag their friends. It also helps if you are in a rut and aren’t sure what to post about, these posts can be fun and light hearted and you can include a call to action for people to get involved themselves. On the day I’m writing this it happens to be ‘World Card Making Day’ as well as ‘World Teachers Day’ there’s endless content possibilities that could be created around these themes.

Pexels/Pixabay

If you create blog or written content, free stock photo websites can be great as you can download royalty free photos to accompany your post. Visual and video content generally does better and is more catching on social media so if you want to promote your blog post or simply talk about something it can be great to add a picture to try and increase your engagement.

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Hannah Chambers is a final year BSc in Communication Management & Public Relations student at Ulster University. She can be found on: Twitter – https://twitter.com/HannahC_PR and LinkedIn – https://www.linkedin.com/in/hannahchambers192/