D’Arcy Masius Benton and Bowles has crafted a radical image change for
Burger King, setting its sights firmly on 16- to 24-year-olds in new
pan-European TV commercials which break on terrestrial television next
The ads are set in the year 2048, during a bleak era when all pleasure
has been outlawed, although a snippet of a 20th-century Burger King
commercial offers a tantalising glimpse of the world as it once was.
Keith Snelgrove, Burger King’s director of marketing for Europe, the
Middle East and Africa, admitted that Burger King had had an image
problem in the past. To rectify this, the hamburger chain has chosen to
build an image which has impact with a youth audience.
Snelgrove said: ‘Fast-food ads are always predictable and full of happy,
smiling people. We wanted to separate ourselves from the McDonald’s
family image. This campaign will give Burger King a ‘cool’ identity.’
Jeremy Pemberton, the creative director of DMB&B, commented: ‘The burger
is the emotional hero of the ad, but it was a challenge to incorporate
food shots into the film and keep it looking cool at the same time. We
have created a refreshing change in fast-food advertising.’
The commercial was originally developed to run on MTV only, to flag
Burger King’s sponsorship of the MTV European Music Awards on 23
November, but it was later decided to run the ad across all TV and
cinema in a pounds 1 million blitz before Christmas. The theme will
continue next year.
The new creative work did not feature in DMB&B’s strategic-only pitch
for the account, which it won in March this year. Snelgrove said: ‘I
believe that given support and direction, most agencies can create good
Big TV directed the commercial through Spots. It was written by Neil
Williams and art directed by Ed Bones at DMB&B.
Burger King is taking other initiatives in its drive to appeal to the
youth market, including a series of sponsored ‘music nights’ in clubs
around the UK.