MUMBAI: Burger King’s chief marketing officer believes that marketers have to be prepared to take risks in order to make the sort of stand-out work that has a real impact on sales – an approach he expects to apply in India in the future.

“Whatever you do, you have to make sure that it stands out and the branding is distinctive,” Fernando Machado told the recent ZEE Melt conference in Mumbai.

“When you are not doing work that stands out, and is boring, you are helping the number one guy. You are making the category relevant and then people go for the top-of-the-mind brand, which is your main competitor,” Machado explained. (For more details, read WARC’s report: Burger King: “If you’re not afraid, don’t do it.”)

Burger King turned around its advertising within a few short years to win the ‘Creative Marketer Of The Year’ award in 2017 at the Cannes Lions Festival of Advertising. And a crucial part of this success has been the creation of a sharp, single-minded and insightful brief.

“The best ones are one-line briefs,” said Machado. “Such a short brief ensures that the creative guy never forgets it, even when he is watching Game of Thrones.”

Marketers must understand their brand so that even when they do more risky work, brand positioning and personality is at the fore, he added.

Brand archaeology and anthropology highlighted several reasons why people connected with Burger King, including the flame-grilled Whopper – “it is our biggest product asset, it’s made to order and people like that” – and customers tending to be “more out there than the average fast-food fan”.

Such attitudes give the brand licence to come up with campaigns like last year’s ScaryClown. “People relate to Burger King because no other brand would dare to do something like that… if you are not afraid, you should not do it,” Machado declared.

“Hopefully as we become more mature, and as we develop our presence in the (Indian) market, we will be able to come up with powerful local insights that will allow us to do campaigns of the magnitude of ‘ScaryClown’,” he said.

Sourced from WARC