Burger King: With creativity, the biggest risk is taking no risks

Burger King, the Cannes Lions creative marketer of the year, explains how the brand stands out when it has competitors that “always outspend” it.

Burger King says creativity in its campaigns is what gives the brand “an edge”, and that marketers have to “walk the talk” in order to stand out in a cluttered media landscape.

The burger brand is being honoured at the Cannes Lions Festival this year as creative marketer of the year. And its head of brand marketing, Fernando Machado, spoke to Marketing Week this morning (19 June) about the brand’s “long-term commitment to creativity” and how it plays a crucial role in differentiating itself from competitors.

“There are always bigger players out there who will outspend us when it comes to advertising. But creativity is what gives us the edge; we’re really walking the talk and have a track record of really going for it,” he said.

Machado pointed to its 2014 ’Proud Whopper’ campaign, which saw it cover all of its burgers in rainbow coloured wrappers in support of the LGBTQ community, with the message ‘We’re all the same inside’ revealing itself when unwrapped.

“With going for it, I mean having the mindset that the biggest risk is taking no risks at all. The worst thing that can happen for any brand in any market, is to not be noticed – you waste a tonne of money on media and just become noise in the background. For us to win, we need to value creativity, push boundaries and make it happen,” he explained.

Machado believes this is inherently marketers’ biggest challenge – to be brave and “do things that will move the brand or industry forward”.

“There’s so much pressure to have a different run on things. The biggest challenge is walking the talk and to have the guts and the bravery to do things that stand out in terms of advertising,” he concluded.

“Having a brand positioning on issues requires courage, you need to have opinions on issues and you can’t be everything to everyone.”