Burger King Spins Occupational Hazard into Customer Delight

Creative genius or head smack? Burger King takes a bold step in making the point: their beef patties are grilled over real fire.


On paper this campaign seems like a smart reversal of misfortunes. It takes a weakness (Burger King establishments are susceptible to catching on fire) and attempts to transform it into a strength (an unwavering commitment to delivering quality product).

What the ad is trying to say to customers is, Hey, we could easily take the easy way out like the others, but this is the trouble we go through for you. The subtext implies that their competitors don’t do this, and that this status quo detracts from the quality of the product.

This assumes that customers care about “flame grilled” in the food preparation process and the outcome of flavor and texture. Has this assumption been thoroughly tested through customer surveys?

It wouldn’t be surprising if Burger King bases this on a cursory scan of customer feedback. The brand is grabbing at straws for some sort of differentiation factor in the commoditized space of fast food burgers.

Agencies often design advertising for the purpose of winning nominations for industry awards and garnering attention from other corporate executives. Instead of clarifying what makes the brand truly different in ways that customers will care, they produce just another supplemental cool feature in their client portfolio.

Now there’s no turning back from “flame grilled”. Burger King digs the hole deeper for righteous entrenchment in this marketing position.