Is supporting a competitor the most noble brand gesture of all?

branding agency Melbourne

The Power of Brands Behaving Admirably.

It’s not every day that the second biggest global brand in a category stops selling their number one product for a day and runs an ad campaign asking their customers to buy from their competitor instead – but that’s just what Burger King’s doing in Argentina.

The campaign is called; ‘A Day Without Whopper’ and has been created to support the charity; Children With Cancer by supporting McDonalds’ McHappy Day where $2 from every Big Mac sold goes towards that worthy charity.

Rather than trying to one-up their fast food rival by raising money for a different cause, Burger King have decided to take the high road and throw their weight behind the McDonalds campaign. This unusual brand strategy is walking the line between risk and reward that is where the most powerful brand building activities can usually be found.

Whilst the risk for Burger King is that they endanger their customers’ brand loyalty and create the opportunity for McDonalds to break their hold on those BK customers and convert them to raving McD’s fans, the reward is the potential to build significant positive association whilst still demonstrating their social conscience by supporting a worthy cause.

We often talk about brand relationships working the same way as human relationships. The attributes and behaviors we admire in people are often the same as those we admire in a brand. When brands have a friendly rivalry, built on respect and fair play, then those same brands can achieve a high degree of positive association by working together on a common cause. The extent to which this approach runs counter to typical corporate behavior demonstrates to consumers how genuine and special this gesture is. And in a cynical world of consumer/brand mistrust, this example of ‘brands behaving admirably’ is gold. As the consumers in the brand vid below state; “It’s such a sweet gesture. Why should brands always have to compete?”.

Which all reminds me of the VF ‘Whopper Freakout’ clip (from the crew at Asa The Comic) that’s been going viral on Youtube since 09 – We gotta warn you there’s some graphic language!!

Dave Ansett
David is the founder of Truly Deeply, a branding agency with 25 years experience working with brands to position them for growth. His deep expertise is in the creation of high engagement brands that attract the attention of their audience and stand out from their competitors. David has extensive experience working with corporate, retail, food & beverage and entrepreneurial clients. Find out more here
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Pic from Burger King.

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