Burger King Secretly Hid Big Macs Behind the Whoppers in All Its U.K. Ads in 2019

Merciless trolling from BBH London

Pretty wild how Burger King put McDonald's Big Macs in all of its U.K. Whopper ads this year, right? What, you didn't notice any Big Macs in BK's advertising? Not a single one? 

That's because you weren't supposed to ... until now. 

According to BK and creative agency BBH London, Big Macs were strategically placed behind Whoppers in every single U.K. TV commercial, print ad, in-store and out-of-home placement that ran during 2019. In all cases, those Whoppers blocked the Big Macs from view. The world learned about the stunt only when BK revealed this "Whopper of a Secret" yesterday.

The goal, per BBH, is to demonstrate that size matters, and to portray the Whopper as "a big, substantial meal." 

Burger King | A Whopper of a Secret

"Placing our competitor's product in our own ads throughout 2019 without anyone knowing has been one of the most fun ideas we have ever executed," says agency creative chief Ian Heartfield. "It is, of course, just a good old-fashioned product comparison idea, but it's been brought bang up to date by some lateral thinking and rebellious media behavior. We're loving it." 

Sure, it's impossible to prove BK actually hid Big Macs in 100 percent of its U.K. Whopper ads for the last 12 months. Even so, this saucy bit of trolling leaves McDonald's with no place to hide, as the internet buzzes about yet another knockout marketing ploy from the King. 

Past jabs at McD's include "Whopper Detour" from FCB, which tweaked the BK app to offer 1-cent Whoppers to anyone coming within 600 feet of a McDonald's. That campaign won a pair of Grand Clios in September, and helped the burger chain earn Clio's Advertiser of the Year award.

CREDITS

Burger King Marketing Director: Katie Evans
Burger King Head of Brand & Communication: Soco Nunez
Burger King Brand Manager: Suzi Hoy

BBH Creative Team: Thomas Devenport and Aubrey O'Connell
BBH Creative Director: Fred Rodwell
BBH Chief Creative Officer: Ian Heartfield
BBH Strategy Director: Saskia Jones
BBH Head of Strategy: Ben Shaw
BBH Account Director: David White
BBH Account Manager: Laura Huber

Film
BBH Producer: Nnena Nwakodo
Production Company: Black Sheep Studios
Designer: Christian Tunstall
Editor: Gus Melton
Director: Korrie Powell
Executive Producer: Sophie Dewey
Producer: Thom Godsill
Post Production: The Mill
Editor/Editing House: Black Sheep Studios
Sound: String and Tins

DOOH
BBH Head of Digital Production: Richard Atkins
BBH Digital Producer: Margarita Ognjanovic
Designer / Animator: Christian Tunstall, Sam Janar, Adam Crowley
Post Production: The Mill
Animation: Wellcom
Wellcom Producer: Ish Shein

Media agency: Vizeum
PR agency: Frank
Social Media agency: Coolr
Exposure: Ocean Digital Outdoor

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David Gianatasio
David Gianatasio is senior editor at Clio Awards.

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