Burger King vs. McDonald’s: How to Successfully Annoy Your Competitor

May 21, 2021

f a few years ago it was unanimous that McDonald’s was the best fast food in the world, today that has changed a lot. And the main reason why this unanimity has lost strength has a name: Burger King. Mc's main arch-rival has been standing out with a Digital Marketing strategy that is often aggressive, but extremely persuasive and differentiated.

While McDonald’s has a more conservative business profile, avoiding getting involved in controversies or to position itself in critical situations, Burger King has been betting that taking sides is essential to achieve a competitive advantage among its competitors.

Of course, McDonald’s continues and should continue for a long time to be the leader in the fast-food market. Despite currently growing less than its competitor, McDonald’s continues to be more profitable than Burger King.

However, a quick search for Burger King x McDonald's is enough to see how BK has become a constant subject in the media due to its extremely well-thought-out actions and increasing investments in new restaurants.

Aggressive x Traditional Marketing

When comparing Aggressive Marketing with Traditional Marketing, the similarities are evident: attraction of people, relationship, lead generation, and visibility. But do you know the characteristics of each one? The big difference is in their approach.

To stand out and deceive the high flow of information, Aggressive Marketing brings a solution: generate impact, experience, and, above all, a lasting impression in the minds of customers. This is the milestone of campaigns and social media posts created by David Agency for Burger King. Check below some examples!

IT Movie Premiere

In 2017, the Burger King of Germany took advantage of the world premiere of the movie “IT” to launch a campaign provoking the competitor McDonald’s.

The horror film, inspired by Stephen King's book, had the highest-grossing in history, hence also the popularity and reach that the brand achieved with the action. BK broke into a session and, before the credits, designed the advertisement "Moral of the story: never trust a clown".

Burger king dresses its stores like McDonald's on Halloween

In yet another bold move, BK took advantage of Halloween 2016 in the United States to surprise consumers and decided to dress up their restaurants as a McDonald's one.

You may be asking: what is the purpose of this strategy? Was to once again create a competitive advantage between products! While BK's meats are made as barbecue on the grill, Mc's are not. In the box of the flagship hamburger of the first brand, it was written “Booo! Just kidding, we still flame grill our burgers”.

On social media, there was a wave of comments, shares, and likes about “The most frightening Burger King in the world”.

Whopper, not today

Have you ever imagined telling your customers to buy from your competitor? It sounds crazy, doesn't it? But that's what Burger King in Argentina decided to bet on a bold and victorious strategy. McDonald’s has been running McHappy Day for about 40 years. A day when the net income from every sale of Big Mac is reverted to some health charity.

On that day, McDonald’s wins the media for sustainable actions that impact cities and society as a whole. Countless artists, companies, and organizations support the cause and hold free concerts and actions in one of the countless restaurants spread across the world. But in 2019, Burger King managed to gain even more prominence.

BK once again dared in its Marketing strategy and became one of the most talked-about subjects worldwide, even though the action took place only in Argentina.

Is speaking badly about your competitor a good strategy?

As we saw in the examples, the main focus of aggressive marketing is to make an impact. However, not always speaking badly about the competitor is a good strategy. The cases we mentioned were positive and brought results for some reasons, mainly because: they got the right content, approach, strategy, and timing.

Burger King's Marketing strategy has taken as a premise to cause discomfort, be it positive or negative, to generate reflections and be remembered. If Burger King is ever going to become superior in numbers to McDonald’s, it is still too early to make that bet. But what is clear is that BK has been teaching a lesson that competitive advantage can be achieved, however difficult it may seem.

Join Our

Thank you! You've successfully subscribed to our newsletter.
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.