As 2019 winds to an end, Burger King has a secret to reveal: to prove that the Whopper outsizes rival McDonald’s Big Mac it has hidden one behind every advert this year.
Burger King’s Whopper is positioned as a heftier option for fast-food lovers getting their burger fix. Seeing this as a differentiating benefit against its rival burger, Burger King endeavoured to find a way to prove it - on a massive scale.
It hid a Big Mac behind every Whopper ad that its creative agency BBH made this year. Within every piece of print, TV, OOH and in-store advertising, Burger King placed a Big Mac behind every Whopper photographed. But due to the size of its own burger, the rival was often eclipsed from sight.
On Burger King's final stunt of the year, Ian Heartfield, chief creative officer at BBH London said: “Placing our competitor's product in our own ads throughout 2019 without anyone knowing has been one of the most fun ideas we have ever executed. It is of course just a good old fashioned product comparison idea, but it's been brought bang up to date by some lateral thinking and rebellious media behaviour. We're loving it."
This is the latest in a long line of McDonald's-targeted advertising from Burger King that cheekily roasts its competitor.
Back in 2015, Burger King Brazil convinced McDonald's superfans to get its rival to the Big Mac tattooed on their arms.
In 2017, the brand's #NeverTrustAClown campaign intimidated its rival and its famous clown, Ronald McDonald.
At the Hamburg premiere of IT (the scary clown box office hit based on Stephen King's novel) the burger retailer flashed two spotlights on the screen prior to the credits rolling, the first stating: ‘The moral is: never trust a clown’ and the second flashing up the Burger King logo.
Following this, it launched a 'Very Scary' campaign that offered free Whoppers to the first 500 clowns to show up at its London flagship restaurant on Halloween night.
Last year, Burger King UK’s response to Kanye West’s love of McDonald’s became the most-liked branded tweet of all time.
And earlier this year, the well-documented burger rivalry between Burger King and McDonald's heated up once more, with the former teasing the latter about its cooking methods via a series of well-placed billboards (or 'grill-boards').