Burger King Encourages Fans in Europe to Support Its Competitors as Lockdowns Resume

Campaign from Buzzman strikes starkly different tone from U.S. ads about other chains' closed locations

Burger King France created an appeal to support restaurants during quaratine. Buzzman France
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Nothing defines the “it’s complicated” relationship status these days quite like Burger King’s feelings toward McDonald’s.

Most days, BK is targeting the Golden Arches with mockery and flat-out trolling, most famously via The Whopper Detour, which encouraged fans to go to a McD’s location and check in on the Burger King app for a free Whopper—then leave.

But Burger king has been known to show some love, such as its proposal to create a McWhopper for Peace Day in 2015, or, more directly, when it created an ad in Finland showing the King making out with Ronald McDonald in honor of Pride Week.

In a similarly positive vein, Burger King France and U.K. have launched an ad from agency Buzzman France encouraging fans to do the one thing you’d never expect to hear from the flame-grilled chain: order from McDonald’s.

Here’s the text of the ad:

We never thought we’d be asking you to do this. Just like we never thought we’d be encouraging you to order from KFC. Quick, O’Tacos, Domino’s Pizza, Subway, Eat Sushi, Pizza Del Arte, Hippopotamus, Pitaya, Sushi Shop, Big Fernand, Mamma Primi, Chez Michel, Le Bistrot Basque, Café Kokomo, Yima… or any of the other independent food outlets, too numerous to mention here. In short, from any of our sister food chains (fast or not so fast).
We never thought we’d be asking you to do this. but restaurants employing thousands of staff really need your support at the moment.
So, if you want to help, keep treating yourself to tasty meals through home delivery, takeaway or drive through. Getting a Whopper is always best, but ordering a Big Mac is also not such a bad thing.

The ad comes as both the U.K. and France are entering a new wave of lockdowns amid rising Covid-19 infection rates.

The work strikes a substantially different tone from Burger King’s recent Halloween-centric campaigns, including one that summoned a creepy clown in bathroom mirrors. In addition, “Scary Places” from MullenLowe U.S. created ominous images of abandoned competitor locations and encouraged Burger King fans to visit them to unlock Whopper coupons:


Client: Burger King France
Marketing Director: Alexandre Simon
Product Marketing Officer: Carole Rousseau
Communication, Public Relations and CSR Director: Muriel Reyss

Agency: Buzzman France
President and Executive Creative Director: Georges Mohammed-Chérif
Vice president: Thomas Granger
Managing Director: Julien Levilain
Art Director: Philippe Boucheron
Copywriter: Patrice Lucet
Art Director Assistant: Mona Saleh
Head of Account: Loïc Coelho
Account Executive: Fany Maupou
Head of Social Media: Julien Scaglione
Social Media Consultant: Félix Brunot
Social Media Consultant: Arnaud Cherbonnier
Head of PR & Communication: Amélie Juillet
PR & Communication Manager: Paul Renaudineau

@griner david.griner@adweek.com David Griner is creative and innovation editor at Adweek and host of Adweek's podcast, "Yeah, That's Probably an Ad."