Burger King Drops ‘King’ From Its Logo as It Concedes Defeat to Belgium’s King Philippe

And the game of thrones PR coup is complete

No more crown for this king. Burger King Belgium
Headshot of Patrick Coffee

Offending a royal family is a marketing stunt fit for a king.

Earlier this week, Burger King earned more than its share of media coverage for a campaign poking fun at Belgium’s King Philippe while promoting the June opening of its first restaurant in the European nation.

The “Who Is the King?” homepage asked visitors to choose between the real man and the Burger King. But all interested parties quickly learned that one could not, in fact, pick Philippe.

Today, Burger King Belgium completed its PR stunt by pretending it had lost to the legitimate monarch in a narrow, completely fictional vote, 51 to 49 percent. It then announced plans to abdicate its own throne and the title of king in a final, irreverent gesture toward the royal family. (See the new “updated” logo above.)

“The results are in: 51 percent for King Philippe and 49 percent for Burger King,” read a press release that cited “worldwide media coverage” in summarizing the three-day campaign. “The brand always respected the people’s choice and must face the harsh truth. As a consequence, Burger King gives up its title and withdraws it from its logo—as heralded on its official Facebook page.”

From that page: “Anyway, this game wasn’t that funny. We abdicate.”

A spokesperson for the chain told Reuters today that it had decided to pull the campaign “after a conversation with the palace.” Neither Burger King Belgium nor its French agency of record, Buzzman, who orchestrated the stunt, have responded to queries regarding the accuracy of that very dubious claim.

So Burger King scores plenty of earned (read: free) media to promote its first restaurant in Belgium while Buzzman claims credit. And the Belgian royals can rest assured they were right to take offense at a very transparent marketing stunt.

Looks like everyone wins. Le sigh.

Client: Burger King Belgium
CEO: Kevin Derycke
Head of Marketing: Dirk Lammens
Head of Development & Conversion: Raphaël Duvivier
Brand Activation Manager: Vic Dresen

Agency: Buzzman
President and Executive Creative Director: Georges Mohammed-Chérif
Vice President: Thomas Granger
Associate Director: Julien Levilain
Creative Director: Louis Audard
Creative Director: Tristan Daltroff
Artistic Director: Louis Audard
Copywriter: Tristan Daltroff

Head of account: Xavier Devaux Landragin
Account Executive Assistant: Valentin Allard

Head of Digital & Innovation: François Phan
Digital Producer: Christelle Pereira
Digital Artistic Director & Illustrator: Tony Tran
Motion Designer: Théo Berdrin
Digital Production Studio: Neuvième Page
Head of TV Production: Vanessa Barbel
TV & Print Producer: Benoit Crouet
Head of Social Media: Julien Scaglione
Social Media Manager: Alexandre Ponte
Head of PR & Communication: Amélie Juillet
PR & Communication Manager: Victoria Morin
PR & Communication Manager: Kenza Bennani

@PatrickCoffee patrick.coffee@adweek.com Patrick Coffee is a senior editor for Adweek.