France – When McDonald’s attacked Burger King in its latest French commercial, the fast food rival fought back.
- Burger King only re-entered the French market in 2013 and has 45 locations compared with more than 1,000 for McDonald’s
- Poking fun at this difference, McDonald’s installed the directional billboard, to which Burger King swiftly responded
Earlier this month, McDonald’s and TBWA/Paris installed a giant billboard outside of Brioude, France, a small town in the Haute-Loire region of France. The billboard displays the precise directions to the next Burger King – 258km away. Next to the directional billboard is another sign with an arrow pointing to the nearest McDonald’s, just 5km away, with the message being that, with more than 1,000 locations in France, if you crave a fast food burger McDonald’s is your best bet.
Rather than ignoring the slight, Burger King worked with advertising agency Buzzman to quickly add an alternative ending to the ad. It shows a couple reaching the sign and driving to the nearby McDonald’s, but only to buy a coffee to get them through the drive to Burger King. The implication? A Whopper is worth the drive.
It is a clever way to respond to the McDonald’s ad, while not denying that Burger King has fewer locations than its competitor. The new ad refocuses the claim, turning the fact into a positive, and showing that brand loyalists are willing to go the distance.
The Big Picture
In the spirit of Backlash Brands, more brands are embracing Aggro-tising and facing their competitors head on in quick-response ads. For more on this idea and other themes of Backlash Brands, watch our introduction video.