A video showing riots and psychologists discussing abandonment issues may not sound like the best way to attract customers but those are the ingredients of one of the most highly praised pieces of marketing this year. Burger King’s seven-minute long mockumentary Whopper Blackout makes fun of the franchise’s withdrawal from France between 1997 and 2012 by showing fictitious French Whopper enthusiasts stockpiling burgers, taking to the streets in protest and even migrating to the UK. Now the video is one of the reasons why Burger King has won a prestigious marketing award.
The Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity’s Creative Marketer of the Year award is given to companies that have made spectacular creative strides in marketing and have consistently demonstrated creativity and originality. And given the originality behind the Whopper Blackout short, it’s hardly surprising that Burger King has been awarded the gong for 2017.
This is by no means the first time the franchise has been recognised at the festival either. Since 1969, its creative team has taken home 76 Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity awards. Last year, the company’s tongue in cheek proposal that McDonald’s and Burger King should join forces on Peace Day and create the McWhopper won both the media Grand Prix and scored the top prize in the print and publishing category.
However, it isn’t the only bun-and-patty franchise to have collected awards at the festival. Two years ago, the Creative Marketer of the Year award was granted to Burger King’s rival McDonald’s ongoing I’m loving it campaign
Commenting on the award, Jose Papa, managing director of Cannes Lions, said: “Burger King is a brand that’s built a reputation for marketing campaigns that are bold, courageous and innovative, constantly challenging the limits of creative excellence. Burger King believes that being a brand with purpose can achieve long-term advantages and deliver strong business results. That’s why the company is making such an impact.”
For franchises looking to boost their brand awareness and get recognised for their efforts, Burger King’s playful and provocative marketing campaigns are certainly a source of inspiration.