BK Put Big Macs in Its Ads This Year; Top Stunts of the Year: Thursday’s First Things First

Plus, are the holidays bad for the planet?

Burger King found a clever way to incorporate McDonald's Big Macs into its advertising this year. Burger King
Headshot of Kathryn Lundstrom

Welcome to First Things First, Adweek’s new daily resource for marketers. We’ll be publishing the content to First Things First on Adweek.com each morning (like this post), but if you prefer that it come straight to your inbox, you can sign up for the email here.

Burger King Claims There Was a Hidden Big Mac in Every Whopper Ad From This Year

Which is bigger, a Whopper or a Big Mac? Burger King UK doesn’t just want to tell you it’s the winner, it wants to show you. By sneaking a Big Mac into ads all year long—but hiding them behind its own bigger sandwich—the fast food chain pulled off yet another clever stunt when it “revealed” the hidden Big Macs in another ad. The spot, created by BBH London, is in line with Burger King’s trolling antics: its relentlessly teasing McD’s about the whole clown mascot thing and put its rival in an awkward position with a proposition to create a mashup charity burger called the McWhopper. And BK’s newest strategy? Bigger is better.

Read more: BBH London’s chief creative officer called it “one of the most fun ideas we have ever executed.”

The Top 15 Stunts and Innovations of 2019

There are innumerable ways to categorize ads, and at the end of the day, it can be tough to choose a best one when there are so many different ways that a creative piece can be great. With that in mind, Adweek’s Ian Zelaya wanted to give a shoutout to the most innovative marketing stunts that brands pulled this year. He writes about more than a dozen sneaky stunts, from a jar of maybe-pee that was tweeted out by Vita Coco to a book of tampons to—of course—Popeyes Sunday relaunch for its infamous chicken sandwich.

Read more: Also featuring a Skittles musical, the hacking of 3D-printed gun designs and furniture that’s easier for visually-impaired people to navigate.

Super Saturday Numbers Show the Strength of Offline Retail

While it might feel like literally everything has gone online these days, customers still do a good amount of their holiday shopping IRL, according to new data from Square. In fact, online only accounted for 9% of sales for retailers with both an online and offline presence. The data also showed an increased emphasis on Black Friday, and that it wasn’t actually Super Saturday (Panic Saturday?) that was the biggest shopping day in December. Instead, it was Dec. 7. Maybe the panic started early this year.

Read more: Black Friday sales were up 33% from an average Friday in November.

Infographic: Are the Holidays Bad for the Planet?

According to a new study by U.K. brand Beyond the Box, 62% of consumers believe the holiday season is bad for the planet. The statistic isn’t really surprising, considering a growing public concern for the climate and an increasing response by brands looking to attach their names with a purpose-driven focus. Taking this into account, Adweek’s Robert Klara laid out a few pointers for brands and regular folks alike to address consumer concerns related to climate change. Holiday decorators and partiers can swap out a fake tree for a real one—or just refrain from buying a new artificial one. Garland and ornaments, both often made of plastic, can also be swapped out for more sustainable alternatives. When it comes to lights, choose LEDs, which use a tenth of the electricity and last a whopping 50 times longer.

Read more: Each holiday season, Americans use 38,000 miles of ribbon.

Best of the Rest:

Ad of the Day: Kylian Mbappé Shows Why He Could be the Next Face of Nike Soccer in New Spot

A new Nike spot by Wieden + Kennedy Amsterdam pays homage to Kylian Mbappé’s Parisian suburb. In the ad, child Mbappé plays, watches and obsesses over soccer alongside adult Mbappé. At just 21, he’s an up-and-coming star that just might be the new face of Nike’s soccer-focused advertising. After all, Cristiano Ronaldo can’t keep playing forever.


Candid Career Advice from 30 Trailblazing Women

Adweek talked with a lot of impressive people this year on its Inside the Brand podcasts. And as we look back on the year, we drew some of the most insightful, practical pieces of advice from conversations with 30 different women who are pushing the boundaries in the field.

Jill Gregory, CMO of NASCAR

“For women, especially—be curious and be confident. Sometimes in certain rooms, there may be feelings of hesitancy but push through that and step forward. Nothing is more important than having confidence in your abilities and acting as if you belong, because you do.”

Rachel Weiss, vp of strategic growth and open innovation, L’Oreal USA

“Don’t put the ‘no’ on yourself. Don’t let the accepted norms dictate your creativity. I always pitch ideas and solutions if I believe they are growth opportunities for the company and I am not afraid to push again if initially rejected. I believe in constant iteration and refinement.”

Ronalee Zarate-Bayani, CMO of LA Rams

Don’t be afraid to do what’s right, especially when the risks are high. While it may be risky in the short-term, in the long-run it may be the key to unlock material change and as long as you’re true to your values, you’ll be able to sleep at night.”

More of the Latest:


@klundster kathryn.lundstrom@adweek.com Kathryn Lundstrom is Adweek's breaking news reporter based in Austin.
{"taxonomy":"","sortby":"","label":"","shouldShow":""}