Ad Space – Burger King Goes Hamburglar

You are now entering Ad Space, a realm of commercials, brought before us so we might examine how they work, and discuss why we both love and hate them so. So it is written …

The Product:
Burger King breakfast sandwiches

The Promotion:

The Pitch:
It’s just as good as the McMuffin, because we literally stole their recipe.

I’ll admit, I can’t tell McDonald’s food and Burger King food apart. Maybe people who eat there more frequently can, but for me, of the big fast food franchises, those two just blur together in my head. I know McDonald’s has the Big Mac and Burger King has the Whopper, but those sandwiches come with so many variations and customization options, I’m certain you could get the exact same sandwich from either restaurant.

Given that, I respect the hell out of this BK ad. Not only do they acknowledge their similarity to McDonald’s, not only do they admit that they deliberately copy what their competitor does, but they use that as an actual selling point. To anyone who might say McDonald’s has the better breakfast sandwich, Burger King replies, “No, our food and theirs is exactly the same; it doesn’t matter which of us you go to.”

I think Burger King felt maybe they had to go this route, at least when it comes to their breakfast menu. I’m sure an army of ad gurus worked many sleepless nights trying to come up with a name for their breakfast sandwiches that was as catchy as “McMuffin” … but if “BK Breakfast Muffin Sandwich” is the best they could come up with, that clearly did not go well. So if you can’t compete with the McMuffin’s name recognition, why not turn their fame to your advantage? Tell people your breakfast sandwiches are McMuffins: you stole them from straight from McDonald’s and just changed the name.

I dunno, somehow corporations being upfront about the lazy derivativeness of their products … that honesty appeals to me.