Category: Restaurants

Dindigul Thalappakatti’s marketing ambush at the 2019 IPL!

Dindigul Thalappakatti’s marketing ambush at the 2019 IPL!

Of late, I’d lunch with my family, in one of the outlets of Dindigul Thalappakatti in Chennai. In the restaurant, below every diner’s plate, I noticed paper placemats imprinted with the below advertisement…

Cover Image

On seeing the ad, two aspects made me glue to its content. Firstly, it’s the advertisement’s striking design. Secondly, it’s the predominant yellow jersey sported by the two human batting figures featured in the ad.

After going through the paper placemat, I realized that the promotional material did not feature any of the names, which a cricket fan in Tamil Nadu would easily relate to, such as…

  1. IPL
  2. IPL 2019
  3. Indian Premier League
  4. CSK
  5. Chennai Super Kings
  6. Mahendra Singh Dhoni
  7. Dhoni
  8. MSD

But, via this strategy, the restaurant was able to tap into the emotions of a Cricket fan.

Considering Dindigul Thalappakatti circumventing the use of the above-mentioned names in its promotional materials and at the same time, trying to capitalize the excitement around IPL 2019, the strategy could well be quoted as an ideal example of Ambush Marketing!

Photo Courtesy: Fotor and Dindigul Thalappakatti

What Can ‘The Burger King’ Mascot Teach Marketers?

What Can ‘The Burger King’ Mascot Teach Marketers?

The King Collage

Recently, I read the Adweek article titled, Burger King’s Week of Being Misunderstood Just Ended With Advertising’s Best Reunion in Years. In addition to providing an overview of the Burger King’s commercial, All By Myself, the write-up showcases a glimpse of the history behind the fast food chain’s viral marketing mascot, Subservient Chicken. As history appeared interesting, I jumped on to read more pieces on the character. In the process of reading, I was enticed to know about Burger King’s primary mascot, The King. Apart from being interesting, its evolution and longevity suggested ways in which a brand can incorporate its mascot in the marketing strategy.

Here are my top lessons from the history of The Burger King mascot.

Incorporate mascot in the Fusion Marketing approach:

Like most of the big guys, Burger King has as well cooperated with brands, having the same kind of prospects and standards, in joint marketing efforts. In a handful of such fusions, the quick service restaurant has brought in its most popular mascot, The King.

The mascot appeared in the Burger King’s campaign for the film, Superman Returns in summer 2006.

In July 2007, The King featured in the commercials meant to promote the animated comedy film, The Simpsons Movie. Wherein, the character appeared with the show’s typical traits of four fingers, yellow skin, and an overbite.

Burger King - The Simpsons Movie
The Burger King in a commercial for The Simpsons Movie

Later, the mascot appeared in the tie-in promotion of the film, Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith and advertisements for a cross-promotion with the National Football League (NFL) and Direct TV’s NFL Sunday Ticket sports subscription package.

In summer 2018, the US brigades of Burger King and Budweiser entered into a partnership, which yielded a limited-edition burger, American Brewhouse King Sandwich and revived the American beer maker’s iconic campaign, Whassup. To top it all, The King, holding a set of the new burger in his hand, “spoke” in the spot. The advertisement supported the revitalized campaign.

By doing Fusion Marketing, the associated brands are expanding their reach but reducing their cost of marketing because they are sharing it with others. When such an approach incorporates a brand’s most popular mascot in a unique and engaging manner, the resultant campaign gets more appealing and its outreach gets more effective.

Marketing Journo

To receive updates of our new blog posts, sign up now!

Integrate mascot into different forms of content offerings:

Apart from using the mascot in numerous commercials, the fast food restaurant has leveraged the persona by…

  • Featuring an animated version of The King at the beginning of each episode of Seth MacFarlane’s Cavalcade of Cartoon Comedy, a cartoon series created by Seth MacFarlane and released on YouTube

By integrating the mascot into different forms of content offerings as mentioned above, the brands are leveraging different channels to take their mascots to the audience. In the process of this integration, there is a likeliness for the existing audience to get entertained in a fresh manner, and for a new fan base to get roped in.

Make the mascot spearhead topical moments:

For Good Samaritan Day in 2018, Burger King treated everyone with a good-natured film. In the video, you see a car fire on the side of a highway. Alongside the car is a guy who appears to look up to travelers vrooming past him to lend him a hand. People who pull over to assist the guy are in for a surprise when The King, flame grilling Whopper, welcomes them. What appeared as an engine fire are actually the flames from the grill. The fast-food restaurant presented Burgers and iconic Burger King Crowns to the Samaritans. Watch the video of the one best Burger King marketing campaigns of 2018, by clicking here!

Here, I would like to recall a moment from Tamil Nadu, India. The below bespectacled and laughing character has been the mascot of the 93-year old Vikatan Group…

Vikatan Logo

For decades, the old man has been symbolic of most of the publications and businesses of the group.

On 7th August 2018, when Kalaignar M. Karunanidhi, an Indian writer, and politician who served as Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, India for almost two decades, passed away, the Vikatan group customized its mascot as below…

Vikatan Sad Logo

Topical moments spearhead by mascots, as mentioned above, offer the audience with occasions that deserve everlasting remembrance.

Customize mascot to appeal to children:

Burger King has customized its mascot to appeal to children in various stages of its history.

In the late 1960s, Burger King introduced a small and animated king character called Kurger Bing in its children’s advertising, voiced by the American voice actor, Allen Swift.

Kurger Bing
Kurger Bing

In all advertisements, the character presented small gifts to children or bought them some Burger King Food. In many of the ads that featured the king, he recited the brand’s slogan, ‘Burger King, where kids are king!

Later, in 1976, the Marvelous Magical Burger King, who ruled Burger King Kingdom (a fantasy world associated with Burger King) and performed magic tricks, replaced Kurger Bing.

The Marvelous Magical Burger King
Marvelous Magical Burger King

The King appeared in the Burger King Kingdom commercials from 1976 to 1989. In favor of the Burger King Kids Club Gang commercials, the quick service restaurant discontinued its Burger King Kingdom ad campaigns in 1989.

An updated version of Kurger Bing later appeared in the Burger King Kids Club Gang advertisements during the mid-2000s.

Another case in point is on how the paint company, Nippon Paint India promoted its KIDZ Paint product by involving kids. In 2018, Nippon Paint India used its mascot, Blobby to promote its child wellness product, KIDZ Paint aimed at children in the 0-12 age group. Furthermore with each KIDZ Paint product came a free Blobby hand puppet.

The above examples perfectly illustrate that mascots could come in handy in marketing, especially when brands have the relevance of tapping the attention of kids.

And, here ends my article that maps the high points in the history of The King with marketing. Hope you enjoyed reading the write-up! Now, let me know the marketing lessons, which you have inferred from brand mascots, in the comments!

These are the 10 Best Burger King Marketing Campaigns of 2018

These are the 10 Best Burger King Marketing Campaigns of 2018

To our June baby! (1)
These are the 10 Best Burger King Marketing Campaigns of 2018 (So far)

The marketing campaigns of Burger King have always been a delight. Hence, it is business as usual so far in the year 2018 for the fast food restaurant’s marketing and communications wing. Plentiful campaigns, which are buzzworthy, are being rendered from its various locations across the globe.

The social media presence of the Burger King’s Global Chief Marketing Officer, Fer Machado, and the mentions, pertaining to the campaigns, in popular online media like Adweek and The Drum prompted me to list down BK’s 10 best marketing campaigns of 2018 so far. So, in this article, I present my list in no particular order.

1. A wrap to transmogrify a bus into a fire truck:

Agency: &Partner

&Partner, an advertising agency from Copenhagen, wrapped the right side of a bus to transmogrify the transit vehicle into a Burger King-branded fire truck. The meaty idea, inspired by the iconic fire trucks in New York, is the agency’s entry in an outdoor advertising competition in Denmark. In the contest, each participating agency was asked to select its client and come up with an idea to advertise the chosen brand with a bus. The concept bolstered the focus of the fast-food chain on flame grilling.

2. Free WhoppHER for every Saudi woman behind the wheel:

Agency: Grabarz & Partners

To celebrate women driving in Saudi Arabia, post the lifting of the decade-old controversial ban on the same, Burger King offered free Whopper sandwich to every woman passing through its drive-thru restaurants in the country. The quick service restaurant chain set the ball rolling for the campaign from June 24th through July 24th.

Click here to watch the campaign video!

3. A parabolic solar cooker to sear a burger:

Agency: Memac Ogilvy

Burger King’s Kuwait operation and Memac Ogilvy together devised and executed an idea to cook up Whopper using the heat produced by parabolic solar cookers, which mobilize direct sun rays to generate the heat. In Kuwait, when the temperature reaches 122 Fahrenheit, BK prepares this Sun-Flamed Grilled Whopper. This offering is available only at select locations in Kuwait (provided when the temperature favors).

Marketing Journo

To receive updates of our new blog posts, sign up now!

4. A Good Samaritan Day video presenting a good-natured stunt:

Agency: David the Agency

For this year’s Good Samaritan Day, Burger King treated everyone with a good-natured film. In the video, you see a car fire on the side of a highway. Alongside the car is a guy who appears to look up to travelers vrooming past him to lend him a hand. People who pull over to assist the guy are in for a surprise when Burger King’s advertising mascot, flame grilling Whopper, welcomes them. What appeared as an engine fire are actually the flames from the grill. The Samaritans are then offered Burgers and iconic Burger King Crowns.

Also Read: What Can ‘The Burger King’ Mascot Teach Marketers?

5. Whopper Neutrality stunt to explain the potential effects of Net Neutrality:

Agency: David

Burger King got behind the topic, Net Neutrality to explain it to not just a handful of its store customers but in fact to possibly every internet user with one of its brilliant in-store stunts. At one of BK’s outlet, if customers were to get served their Whoppers quick then they had to pay the QSR more than the actual price of the food offering. What if they don’t? The answer is simple. Even if the Whopper is ready, the customers had to wait pointlessly for a certain amount of time to collect it.

The expansion which the Burger King had displayed for MBPS over the pricing board (i.e., from “megabits per second” to “making burgers per second”), to be showcased to the customers, was also innovative. Hidden cameras placed in the store captured the goings-on inside the store and varied emotions of the customers in focus and rendered an edutainment.

6. An ‘explainer’ video on ‘Pink Tax’:

Agency: DAVID the Agency (Miami)

This is yet another instance of the fast food chain getting behind a topic concerning the public. The topic in this campaign is ‘Pink Tax’, a price, which refers to the products made for women like razors, shampoo, and conditioner, that is significantly higher than the cost of the male equivalents of those products. In a film released by Burger King, one can see female customers charged $3.09 for “Chick Fries”. Whereas, “Chicken Fries” being charged at $1.69. Wherein, the only difference between the two food items is the box in which they are served i.e. “Chicken Fries” in a yellow box and “Chick Fires” in a pink box. Like Whopper Neutrality, the goal of this campaign as well is to render infotainment around the focal topic and to convey the stand of Burger King on the same.

Watch the ‘Chick Tax’ spot by clicking here!

7. Gift Whoppers or Oreo shake to ease co-workers stuck at the office in summer:

Agency: Buzzman

Burger King Belgium and the agency Buzzman collaborated and yielded the summer special digital campaign, ‘Whopper Out of Office’ that kick-started on July 3rd. In which, the fans, enjoying their summer vacation in a remote destination, were given an innovative option to taunt and then pacify their fellow coworkers stuck at the office by treating them with eatables. All they have to do is provide their destination, duration of their journey and a description in the website set up for the campaign. So, when a person contacts them, he/she will receive an automatically generated email along with a gift voucher for a Whopper or an Oreo shake and their individually tailored message for him/her.

Click here and have a look at the campaign video!

8. Summer pairing of Burger King and Budweiser – A paragon of Collaboration Marketing:

Agency: David and MullenLowe

The pairing of the US brigades of Burger King and Budweiser is what I call as a perfect example of Collaboration Marketing. Targeting the summer season, the partnership, in addition to yielding the limited-edition burger ‘American Brewhouse King Sandwich’, revived the American beer maker’s iconic campaign, ‘Whassup’. To top it all, the BK’s mascot, holding a set of the new burger in his hand, “spoke” in the spot. The ad was meant for supporting the revitalized campaign.

Also Read: 4 Examples of Captivating Fusion Marketing Campaigns (And Why They’re So Great)

9. King Popcorn campaign to hack Whopper into the movies:

Agency: McCann Lima

As soon as the prohibition in the Peruvian Law on taking outside food to the theatres was ceased, movie halls started letting consumers enter their premises with foods ‘similar’ to those sold in the cinema’s concession stands. Burger King Peru and McCann Lima sensed a marketing opportunity, seized the situation and ended up with the King Popcorn campaign. Wherein, the fast feeder, located in food courts close to the movie theatres, packed a popcorn tub with a Whopper at the bottom, a French Fries pack above it and a tray containing a handful of popcorns at the top. The outward appearance of this food item named King Popcorn resembled the snack sold in the theatres. Thereby, it facilitated the hacking of the Whopper and French fries inside the movie. This innovative move by Burger King increased its sales by 40% in the activation period and put the brand in the consumer spotlight.

10. Incendiary print and outdoor ads for a recruitment campaign in Germany:

Agency: Grabarz & Partner Werbeagentur GmbH

For the Burger King Recruitment campaign in Germany, the fast food chain in the country and Grabarz & Partner came up with a series of incendiary, eye-catching print and outdoor ads. The ads depicting real-life events had the text, ‘LOVE FIRE? CONTACT US’ accompanied by the web address, ‘’, catchphrase, ‘FLAME GRILLING SINCE 1954’ and the Burger King logo.


Even though I consider the aforementioned campaigns as best of Burger King in 2018 so far, I can’t resist myself in admiring the other efforts of the restaurant like Burger King China’s celebration of International Women’s Day 2018 and Burger King Romania’s “Whopper No Show” campaign. Also, it sounds appealing when coming across tweets from BK’s Global CMO that gives a glimpse of the interiors of the fast feeder’s outlets of different countries. Overall, I find the collective marketing and communications efforts of the QSR chain to be lively!

Having documented a list of best Burger King marketing campaigns of 2018 so far, I now eagerly look forward to what the chain has in store for the remaining months of this year.