Campaigns, Student/PR

2019’s Creative Campaigns #20 – The Whopper Hides The Big Mac

I’ve long been a champion of Burger King’s campaigns. If I had to crown my favourite marketer of all time, it would undoubtedly be them. From their witty social media, to their wonderfully creative PR stunts, this is a brand that really has everything going for them.

That’s why their latest gig, unsurprisingly, got another big thumbs up from me.

Unreservedly imaginative and totally cheeky – Burger King’s latest stunt involved them revealing that behind every ad they’ve published in 2019, there’s been a big mac hiding behind the whopper. Largely to demonstrate how the whopper is much bigger and fufilling than it’s arch-rival, but also probably subliminally to demonstrate how McDonalds is very much in the shadow of Burger King.

While the fast food chain may not be as popular as McDonalds in terms of franchise numbers and footfall, I would undoubtedly argue that its consistent impressive marketing efforts far outshine those of its nemesis. Though McDonalds will always have the advantage of brand recognition, when it comes to being daring and different, Burger King always wipe the floor.

Where’s That Big Mac?

The campaign – simple yet effective – is this.

Behind every new photograph of BK’s famed ‘Whopper’ burger taken this year, was a McDonald’s Big Mac. Demonstrating in a way that can’t get much more clear, that the Whopper is bigger (and perhaps better) than the Big Mac.

Demonstrating its generosity, the Big Mac is nowhere to be seen behind the Whopper in every single shot. And though I don’t doubt that a bit of priming and plumping from stylists would have been involved, the message is still loud and clear.

What Wins – Clever Marketing Or Brand Recognition?

But the question I ask today is: will clever marketing ever be enough to override a really solid brand reputation?

Whenever you think of fast food, you’ll probably think of McDonalds. The chain has been around for so many years, and is unarguably the market leader. I’d say you can probably walk around and see at last 5 McDonalds before you’ll see a Burger King. There’s pretty much one on every corner now. (Scary, I know!)

There are 1,249 in the UK alone.

So while you cannot deny that Burger King’s marketing efforts are nothing short of spectacular; they’re up against a really really tricky opponent.

It’s not like they don’t know this, though. It doesn’t take a genuis to know that McDonalds dominates the fast food industry, and it’s clear from Burger King’s previous marketing efforts that they’re doing everything they can to sway loyalists into their chains instead. Most marketing campaigns revolve around tarnishing (but in a cheeky and loveable way) the name of McDonalds or moreover, the Big Mac.

From giving those who drove close to McDonalds a 1 cent Whopper if they came to Burger King instead, to their famed #NotABigMac campaign earlier this year. Their brand has been built on trolling their main rival, and I’m 100% here for it.


When you’re up against one of the biggest companies in the world, you’ve got to be different and you’ve got to take risks in order to be heard. Burger King do this flawlessly and I can’t wait to see what else they’ve got up their sleeve for 2020.

What do you think of Burger King’s recent campaign? Let me know in the comments below or on Twitter.

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