Burger King ponders confusing times as plant-based push continues

    • Burger King on April 14 launched the “Even More Confusing Times” campaign, per details shared with Marketing Dive. The global effort will run across print, film and radio, and kicked off in Spain and Portugal.
    • “Even More Confusing Times” includes a short film and promotes its plant-based chicken nuggets by using dark humor and sarcasm to highlight dichotomies and paradoxes that plague relationships, parenting and other topics.
    • Created by agency David Madrid, the quirky effort builds on the brand’s previous “Confusing Times” creative and comes amid the QSR chain’s creative review.

    Burger King’s “Even More Confusing Times” campaign uses an offbeat sense of humor to put its plant-based chicken nuggets alongside other daily conundrums, like whether an eco-friendly Black Friday purchase is actually good for the planet, or if it’s worse to send a message to an ex or delete the message once its sent. The effort, created by David Madrid, builds on the brand’s 2021 “Confusing Times” effort that promoted the Impossible Whopper and pondered pandemic-related issues around working from home, dating apps and videoconferencing.

    “Burger King’s meatless alternatives are getting more and more confusing. So, we wanted to reflect that with a campaign that’s even more confusing than the previous one,” Iwo Zakowski, head of global brand marketing for the chain, said in a statement.

    Plant-based foods could grow to a more than $162 billion market in 2020, per Bloomberg Intelligence, and QSR brands are shouldering a growing part of marketing the challenger product to consumers who are looking for food options that are better for their health and the environment. However, some marketing experts have warned against health- and sustainability-forward messaging, which Burger King is sidestepping with a campaign in support of “chicken nuggets that got no chicken… but taste like chicken,” per the short film’s voiceover.

    Previously, Burger King rolled out its “Meat?” campaign in Costa Rica, Mexico, Brazil and Germany, toying with the visual similarities between meat and plants in an effort that was also created by David Madrid. The agency’s São Paulo branch recently created a Poop Emoji Ice Cream product in Brazil to promote the QSR’s pledge to remove artificial ingredients from its foods.

    While these and previous efforts by David have garnered online buzz and industry awards, Burger King in February put its creative and media accounts up for review. Alongside David, Dentsu’s 360i, David’s WPP sibling Ogilvy and independents O’Keefe, Reinhard & Paul and Fig are participating in the review, per Ad Age.


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