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Burger King embraces uncertainty

News, 13 September 2016
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NEW YORK: Burger King, the quick service restaurant chain, is embracing uncertainty as it seeks to deliver creative work that cuts through the clutter and engages consumers.

Fernando Machado, the firm's Global Marketing SVP, discussed this subject at a recent conference, and reported that a degree of risk was helping to bring the brand's "Be Your Way" positioning fully to life.

"I think that the thing about uncertainty that I like the most is when I ask the question and I get the reply, 'Hey, we don't know if this is going to work'. To me, it only means that it has not been done before," he said. (For more, including further strategic details, read Warc's exclusive report: Burger King's bold brand reinvention.)

"If we knew it would work, then it's because either we've done it or another brand has done it. So if this answer is, 'I don't know', I am going to get really excited about that."

One example of how Burger King made an impact with consumers involved National American Sign Language Day 2016, as it requested that consumers propose a new sign which could represent its Whopper hamburger.

Elsewhere, in promoting Peace Day last year, the brand utilised print ads to ask if McDonald's would temporarily suspend the "burger wars" and together create the "McWhopper".

More broadly, it has also reintroduced the iconic "King" mascot into its ads, but with an emphasis on fostering unity rather than spreading anarchy.

Such initiatives have assisted Burger King in championing its "Be Your Way" positioning, which is based around encouraging inclusivity. "The brand welcomes everyone. We encourage you to be yourself," said Machado.

"We are the brand that puts the crown on everyone's head. So we are extremely democratic. We welcome everyone. And our fans were telling us that," he added.

This ethos is further reflected in Burger King's attitude towards creativity, as it welcomes a broad swathe of ideas in pursuit of the best possible campaign.

"I really believe this: That clients get the advertising they deserve. And that's why I don't want to be a client. That's why I want to be a partner," Machado said.

"What I've seen is … the more good work you do, the more good work you do … The more good work I do, the more, as a client, creative people want to present us good work."

Data sourced from Warc

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