De-Positioning Your Brand. Why, Burger King? Why?
April 16, 2010 ‐ 5 comments
Here at BrandCulture's new Worldwide HQ, we are scratching our heads at Burger King's latest ad: ...Huh? With this ad, Burger King effectively commoditizes itself while positioning McDonald's as the product/taste leader. While Burger King will undoubtedly encourage some switching (though how many people will change their routine to save a buck or so?), should the chain ever wish to raise the price of their knock-off, we suspect those customers they do convert will quickly return to McDonald's to buy the genuine article. And is it worth what they are giving up in terms of positioning the Burger King brand? Television viewers: McDonald's is "where it's at" in fast food. How do we know? Because Burger King told us so in this ad. And based on our own work with McDonald's in a previous life, we can bet the communications folks there are basking in this free publicity. Here's a little gratis communications consulting for any businesses/organizations/brands that aim to dethrone the number one player in their respective industries: don't reinforce your competitor's strength or commoditize yourself by promoting your products and services as cheaper, copied alternatives. Burger King is the second-largest fast food chain in the world. With this ad, they appear destined to remain #2.
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Bill Backus
June 6, 2010 8:38 am
LOL - damn I'm starting to really wonder what's going on over at CP+B. I've seen the 2009 BK financial reports and they haven't been able to gain any ground on McD's - and with this ad I believe they've pretty much solidified yet another year of fallen market share - never mind the precious mind share they'll lose to this also. I think it's time for BK to take a step back and re-focus their brand.
May 15, 2010 11:02 am
We do remember the Avis campaign, and we've read Ries & Trout's paean to its virtues. In our view, the difference is that Avis asserted that they did something better than the #1 competitor, whereas BK just claims to be cheaper, and only for this one, copied product - not as an overall brand position. That said, the spot did make us laugh, and we do actually get a kick out of The King's antics. We just don't know if they're going to help BK sell more Whoppers Jr.
May 12, 2010 5:21 am
Remember Avis' "We're number two, but we try harder"? campaign. It's not such a bad idea, and I like the BK execution, which manages to herald value while also transforming a once creepy mascot into a clever king.
May 2, 2010 9:59 am
The ad's a classic effort to tempt a few people over to BK for what's portrayed as an equal product at a better price, with the hope that once prices go up some of the tempted will become converted (prices have, in fact, gone up at our local franchise). Here at BrandCulture we understand the tactic, but stand by our assertion that the long-term brand impact outweighs the short-term sales. Glad we have your vote, Bruce, and please feel free to send anyone who asks you anything about anything over to BrandCultureTalk for undeniably, unimpeachably, decisively authoritative advice.
Bruce Hungate
May 1, 2010 10:55 pm
Puzzling. Any idea why they would do this? Seems a bit desperate. If they ask me, I'll suggest they call you before designing their next ad campaign.

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