Fernando Machado
Global Chief Marketing Officer

How Burger King’s Fernando Machado Moves at the Speed of Pop Culture

Fernando Machado, Global CMO of Burger King, is an advertising award machine with more than 120 Lions in Cannes (5 Grand Prix), 16 D&AD Yellow Pencils, 1 Grandy and 2 Grand Effies in North America.  But as he says, “I don’t get a bonus from ad awards”, so what keeps him motivated and on his continuous hot streak?  “Doing something that's pushing the boundaries. To succeed you need to do something different and take risks.”

Critically important in his success formula is moving at the speed of pop culture.  “To me that means let's insert the brand into conversations. Let's try to predict where things are going and let's make the brand more relevant where the brand is being talked about by people.”  Not just at awards’ shows, but at bars around the world, at the water cooler and anywhere pop culture lives.

With so many awards and great campaigns, like McWhopper, Google Home of the Whopper, Burning Stores, #ScaryClownNight and recent ads poking fun at AI, just to name a few, Fernando points to the great relationships with his agency partners as another critical success factor.  In fact, when I met Fernando in person at the recent AdClub Brave Brands Awards ceremony, he won for the third straight year with three different agency partners.

“First really get to know your brand, then develop a taste for great advertising and then just do it!"

Having started as an intern at Unilever as a Chemical Engineer and working his way up to Global CMO of Burger King, he shares his top advice for other marketers, “First really get to know your brand, then develop a taste for great advertising and then just do it! Fear, in our case, is a consequence of doing something that's different.”His advice to agencies? “Help your client do these three things!”