How Burger King used design, tech and product innovation to survive the ‘adpocalypse’

A summary of Burger King’s strategy of using non-paid media, including design and technology, to compensate for a shortfall in ad budgets.

For visitors to Cannes Lions in 2019, it was near-impossible to miss the promotional campaign for Burger King’s session in the Lumière theatre. Provocative posters advertised the ‘Survivor’s guide to the Adpocalypse’ with a blazing inferno, depicting the Burger King character carrying the severed, zombified head of Ronald McDonald, adorned almost every wall in the Palais des Festivals.

Attendees would have been forgiven for expecting a rumination on consumer ad avoidance and the creeping popularity of ad-free environments. Instead, the fast food chain’s top marketers offered a fascinating glimpse into how challenger brands can maximise the effectiveness of non-paid media...

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