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  • Writer's pictureSundeep Mallipudi

Burger King's Latest Advertising Strategy, "Breaks the Mold"

Updated: Feb 27, 2020

Well, It takes a lot of guts for Burger King to create a campaign that is completely different and unusual.

On Wednesday, Burger King had launched a global advertising campaign showing its iconic Whopper covered in furry gray mold. Yes, you read it right.. but the real intention with which the campaign was launched is to show the beauty of real food (which is free from artificial preservatives) is that it gets ugly.

“The beauty of real food is that it gets ugly. It’s common knowledge that real food deteriorates quicker because it is free of artificial preservatives," - Fernando Machado said.

Coming to the real depth of the campaign, Burger King had removed artificial preservatives from its signature burger over 400 restaurants in the U.S. and also few other restaurants in several European countries — including France, Sweden, and Spain. And it plans to serve the no artificial preservatives whoppers all restaurants by the end of the year.

The Whopper is topped with onions, lettuce, tomato, mayonnaise, and pickles, all of which will contain no artificial preservatives.

It had already started its ad campaigns, with a time-lapse of a decaying burger on Twitter (34-days old burger). It had also gone for a print ad that shows a 28-day-old burger.

It's not now that Burger King has broken the rules of advertising to create a campaign, Burger King is famously known for their marketing stunts against its rivals. It has always been creative and out of the box with its campaigns some have given good results and some when wrong but they have never stopped experimenting. A few examples are as below.

McDonald’s had announced on 26th September 2018, that it is removing artificial preservatives, flavors, and other artificial colors from its hamburgers, cheeseburgers, double cheeseburgers, McDoubles, Quarter Pounders with Cheese, double Quarter Pounders with Cheese, and Big Macs in all its United States (US). This is on top of removing preservatives from chicken nuggets in 2016 and soft serve in 2017. It also introduced fresh beef quarter pounders in 2018, which helped increase sales.

In each case, the trigger for all these changes is consumer preference. But it takes a huge amount of time and investments to get set for the alternatives which will have similar or better tastes than the previous changes. So, whatever the changes, it doesn't happen just like that, a lot of research/experiments have to be made to get the right taste and texture with natural substitutes.

Well, when asking burger king which preservatives were doing away with?
They said, No food items contain MSG or high-fructose corn syrup, both of which are common additives in the fast-food industry. Also, a spokeswoman for the company said that sodium benzoate would be removed from the pickles and replaced with lactic acid; ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid (EDTA) would be removed from the mayonnaise, and calcium propionate would be removed from the buns and replaced with cultured wheat flour. “So, It's Just a natural source of the same preservative, but it sounds better."

Finally, By the end of this year, Burger King said all food items — including burgers, sides, and desserts — will be free from artificial colors, artificial flavors and artificial preservatives in the U.S. and select European countries, including Germany and the United Kingdom.

To conclude, Instead of highlighting Burger King's Whopper with the classic faultless and often too perfect photographic vogue typically used in fast food advertising, it had shown rotten food as a sales pitch, which is unique and that is to give their customers more transparency about their food. But it is an indication of the change in the food world advertising.

Do comment below, What's your opinion on this campaign?

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