Saturday, September 5, 2015

Someone's Got Beef

We all know of the big retail rivalries in the world. Coke vs Pepsi, Starbucks vs Tim Hortons (or maybe that's a Canadian thing), and McDonalds vs Burger King. As with all of these examples, the former generally prevails quite completely over the latter. I think Coca Cola has something like 80% of the market share of sodas in the world, and we all know that joke about ordering a Coke in a Pepsi restaurant.

I'm all for the underdog trying to unseat the king from his throne, but sometimes, one company simply has the best product available. I would choose McDonalds over Burger King pretty much any day of the week, even if it is slightly more expensive. That said, it certainly shocked me that Burger King recently launched a huge, very expensive ad campaign asking McDonalds for a truce.

Burger King took out a full-age ad in The New York Times and The Chicago Tribune, all to ask McDonalds (very publicly) if they would put aside their differences to make a burger with mixed ingredients from both companies' signature burger, the Whopper and the Big Mac respectively.

They even went so far as to design packaging and employee uniforms with unified branding of both chains. Far be it from me to note that the brown of Burger King far overpowers the red of McDonalds. Red is a much stronger colour than brown, but even the name of the proposed burger, the "McWhopper" mainly sounds like a Burger King product.

This all seems very well orchestrated by the people at Burger King. By proposing this alliance of two 'fighting' chains, they are extending the olive branch to McDonalds and calling all the shots. The ad even went so far as to compare their rift to that of real, terrible events happening in war-torn parts of the world today.

So, no matter what McDonalds' response would be, they were pretty much backed into a corner. Pretty underhanded, right? Well, as I mentioned before, Burger King certainly likes to think that they are an equal of McDonalds, but McDonalds (and myself) certainly doesn't see it that way. Steve Easterbrook, the CEO of McDonalds, responded with an equally public (yet marginally less expensive) reply on Facebook.

That's exactly what I thought they would say. McDonalds has much more clout and business in the world than Burger King, and certainly a lot more reach, which they are already utilizing in various charitable efforts. And why not? They are a multi-billion dollar corporation. And they certainly don't need help from Burger King in any of these endeavours.

My favourite part is that Steve called Burger King out about comparing their rift to that of real war, and of putting their company on the spot by making all of this public. So, in the end, Burger King just looks like an asshole, and McDonalds gets lots of free advertising (that they didn't even need in the first place...but you can't argue with the price tag).

What a terribly schemed advertising venture. Let it be known that risks are only worth taking if there is at least a small chance of payoff. You can check out the website proposal for yourself here.

And meanwhile, Burger King isn't really practicing what it preaches, anyway.


No comments:

Post a Comment