How Burger King does manage its bad image?

after having made different measures in order to promote nutritional awareness. We could use various examples: Nike’s products manufactured by children. or McDonald’s global image. Some of them had also a bad image because of their internal management system and had to invest in advertisement to bring back the customers. Coca-Cola’s violent use of managerial power in Colombia plants. . which is criticized for encouraging obesity even now. We will study here the case of one of the biggest fast-food industry companies and determine how its advertising policy avoids the common traps McDonald’s fell into.Numerous companies have had to deal with the negative outcomes of inappropriate advertising policies. Disneyland’s anti-American boycott during the opening of its French park in 1992.

it is relevant to put the emphasis on the comparative advertisements Burger King made to benefit from its main rivals’ weaknesses. the fast-food giant declared it was not a consequential decision. well described on a Cambridge University Press webpage (2). notably Wendy’s , Kentucky Fried Chicken and McDonald’s. were also creating a competitive disadvantage. However. as McDonald’s Super Size Option. whereas McDonald’s did. which provides a huge list of articles illustrating McDonald’s marketing mistakes. . which were attempts to build a solid identity the firm lacked of. some attacks and claims made at Mc Donald’s.6% for Mc Donald’s) because they forgot to put the stress on their main product – the Whopper – in their ads. McDonald’s campaigns were known to be controversial but successful. during this time Wendy’s tried a new motto. “Where’s the beef?” which Burger King answered with: “Where’s herb?” Unfortunately for BG. was withdrawn six weeks after the release of the (5). could possibly aim at any other fast-food company. their total market share in 1993 was much lower than McDonald’s (6. If so. 15. showing the health risks of a regular fast-food diet. these failures. Burger King included. as in 2007 the company produced a series of curious video clips. are a potentially responsible choice.Since its beginnings in 1954. such as Morgan Spurlock’s 2004 documentary Super Size Me. which led to improper advertising campaigns. The situation has changed since then. Burger King has experienced an outstanding growth. In order to have an advantage on its competitors. For instance. of which Wendy’s benefitted from in 1986. or mcspotlight. In the website (7). according to Wikipedia and its annex sources (3). We might wonder: how come a company which is in a scapegoat position and has a global negative image keeps a leading place in the fast-food industry? The common ethical debate which McDonald’s still has to deal with. However. instead of fighting a marketing decision with another similar or even opposite marketing decision. As Burger King copied the Big Mac creating the “Big King”. most of Burger King advertising programs made between 1980 and 2002 were unsuccessful and did not permit the brand to achieve its targets. In this stylish attempt to generate a long-term relationship with the customer. we could argue BK advertising and sponsorship policies. Effectively. McDonald’s nastily replied with the “Big ‘n Tasty”. BG has simply developed the habit not to strike back Nonetheless. which permitted the customer to increase the size of his meal. Moreover. it did not have the impact it was supposed to have. BG tried to expand its segmentation but lost customer awareness. which directly imitates the Whopper. The impact of these unsettling attempts is noticeable. both for TV and Internet. which supported by a major investment. In these TV spots (which were shown between 1995 and 1996). more prudent and diplomatic. as stated in High School Operations Research website (1). as explained on echeat. we can see consumers progressively getting angry as they realize their favourite BG dish – the whopper – is no longer available (6). This specific flop leads us to analyse the current BG strategy towards McDonald’s. the company has adopted different successful tactics. As we are focussing here on its publicity campaigns.1 % for BK. along with the growing crowd of its detractors. there has been a noticeable exception to that. Nevertheless. may be more strong and accurate than Burger King’s precisely because of its dominating condition. the firm compared its own burgers to the opponents’ products. called “The Whopper freakout”. If Burger King’s adverts were at times detrimental to its turnover. as explained in the book Marketing Strategy in 1998 (4).

It would be easy in this study to evaluate BK policies as being better or worse than McDonald’s or any . McDonald’s have often being criticized for its advertising policies towards children. For example. the impact on sales could be dramatically negative. as the name suggests. their mothers were insidiously dragged to the restaurant. Burger King keeps away from certain ethical matters when not making its children policy the centre of attention. let’s turn to what happens nowadays to BK. As a conclusion. a combination of Texan and Mexican food). The problems get more serious when. we should consider the role played by the media (Which includes IT communications) in labelling a marketing strategy. the spot was condemned by specialists because it shown sexual (or. as stated in a topical article from the Washington Post (10).As for Burger King. This clip was judged “outrageous” by a member of the Institute of Human Nutrition. as mentioned in a 2006 electronic article published on (9). or is it this task reserved to the fast-food leaders? McDonald’s initial approach was subtle but clever: while kids were attracted by its outside park and its Happy Meal. The company recently used SpongeBob’s franchise to promote its Kids Meals on a TV advert. On the other hand. a few errors in its advertising campaigns have also been pointed out. What we might question here is the educative role hold by parents: do they have the responsibility of teaching their children the dangers of fastfoods. On one hand. As we studied most of all previous marketing policies. Burger King employs Mexican’s flag in a way judged offending by officials (11). the firm has asked under-developed countries’ citizens to taste a Whopper and a Big Mac in order to make an advantageous comparison in a 2008 TV spot. in order to support the sales of the brand new Texican Whopper (which is. sexy) content. BK heads claimed that it was mainly adult-targeted. as stated on nydailynews. If BK’s campaigns become reprimanded by politics. and so did Burger King. should we write. inappropriate in such a context. This policy gave the company a significant competitive (8).

REFERENCES . Morals and ethics surely reflect the social representation of a brand. it is not possible to objectively do so as the general image of a given company is depicted on a subjective basis. Yet. but these kinds of value differ depending on individuals’ opinions or cultural orientations.other competitor.

Planning. C.html (8) (4) Harcourt Brace & Company. November 15 http://www.hsor. p. and Productivity of Fast Food Restaurants. FERREL. LUCCA. Marketing Strategy. December 2 (6) http://www. TOWNSEND and S. (5) http://www.html .(1) Article taken from: (10) S. GASKELL. HARLINE. LUCK. http://www. LUCAS. SWART and” Interfaces. M. 335.independent. ge. “Simulation Modeling Improves Operations. 35-47.cfm?name=burger_king (2) First published on February 1997 in Advertising Age. 1998. H. cambridge. http://www. April 16 2009 http://voices.html (7) http://www.whopperfreakout.html (9) A.pdf (3) http://en. D. April 14 2009 (11) REUTERS GARFINKLE. O.mcspotlight. 11:6 (1981). D.

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