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Introduction

Burger King
started its business back in 1954 in Miami, USA. Known for its WHOPPER burger,
Burger King is now one of the more recognized fast food restaurants in
Singapore with 40 outlets island wide selling burgers and sandwiches at an
affordable price. Burger King ran an advertising campaign in Singapore back in
2009. Why I found this campaign interesting is because it received tons of
criticism both locally and internationally because the advertisement had a
sexual innuendo twist to it.

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Marketing
Communication Objectives

The like objective
of their campaign is to create an awareness for their latest promotion. This
promotion would be selling their new seven inch sandwiches at a promotional
price. They wanted to shock and push boundaries and be the topic of discussion
amongst the target audience during the limited time the sandwiches are
available for.

 

Communication
Model

1.     
Sender

Burger King wants
to sell its burger and sandwiches to target audience who are hungry. It is
trying to promote its new “BK SUPER SEVEN INCHER”. Not only is their new
sandwich big, it is also delicious as it states “IT’LL BLOW YOUR MIND AWAY”.
Burger King also stated the price of the meal, telling its audience it is value
for money.

 

2.     
Receiver

General public
that are looking for food fill up their hungry stomach quickly as they do not
want to wait for a long time for it. People that are on a budget but wants to
have a filling meal may also consider.

 

3.     
Encoding
of the message

Words and Visuals
are used to encode the message in the advertisement. In the print
advertisement, it shows a blonde female blown away by the size of the new
sandwich. It is so big that her mouth couldn’t fit into it. Words are also used
to emphasize on the size and taste of the burger, as they are bolded and had
big fonts. With Burger King’s tagline “IT JUST TATSE BETTER”, it re-emphasize
that its burger and sandwiches taste better than others.

 

4.     
Chanel
of communication

Burger King posted
this advertisement on their own website, as well as their own retail outlets to
inform audience of their promotion. This is to encourage their audience to buy
their sandwiches when they are deciding what they want to eat. They are also
placed in MRT stations, one of the places with high human traffic. Their
purpose is to make their advertisement get noticed easily. With the high amount
of repetition, people will then be aware that Burger King is having this
promotion.

 

5.     
Problems
in decoding process

As Singapore is a
more conservative society, a sexual advertisement will not be well received,
especially when it is a food advertisement. The advertisement is too sexual as
it depicts a similar sexual position, making it an “adult” rated advertisement.
This caused problems for women and especially kids whom are curious at their
age.

Creative
Strategy and Creative Strategy

The Big Idea of
this advertisement would be that the new “BK SUPER SEVEN INCHER” is very big
and taste so good that it will blow people’s mind away. This is shown in the
advertisement using the reaction of the blonde women face. Along with its
campaign theme “IT JUST TASTE BETTER”, it is suggesting that the bigger the
sandwich or burger the better it taste. A big sandwich meal for a low price
attracts prospect’s attention as it is value for money. With this in mind, it
also helps advertise Burger King as prospect will have a mindset that Burger
King pricing of their products are reasonable and affordable.

 

Informational
Appeal are used in this advertisement. It feature their new sandwich and claims
its very big. It also make it competitive for the others restaurants as
customers are getting more for what they are paying. When comparing the price
with its competitors, Burger King’s price are cheaper, hence attracting more
attention to this campaign. With food bloggers trying out this new sandwich, it
further spread awareness to this campaign. In addition, reviews given by bloggers
will help encourage more people to try it out. Burger King also stress on their
own brand, claiming that they taste better than others with its campaign theme.
A little of sex appeal is used in this advertisement as the blonde women looked
as though she is in a sexual position.

 

Burger King uses
Imagery and Demonstration to execute the message. Burger King showcased their
new sandwich image in the advertisement, showing how big the sandwich is. This
further demonstrated when compared with a human mouth. In the advertisement,
the blonde mouth could hardly fit the huge sandwich.

 

Promotion
Mix

Burger King advertise
their new sandwich by placing posters in their own retail outlets and in MRT
stations. In order to create more awareness, Burger King also posted the advertisement
on their Facebook page. Burger King also used sales promotion help speed up
their sales. A promotional price was quoted as it is introducing its new
product. This is to encourage people to try and shift to their brand. Coupons
were also issued to mailbox to give people more incentive to try their
products.

 

Media
Mix Strategy

Burger King uses
Outdoor as one of its media mix strategy. Posters and coupons are placed at
their own retail outlets and MRT stations. The advantage of this is that
location is specific, easily noticed and have high repetition. However it has
short exposure time. Image have to be zoomed in if not it will be blur.

 

Another strategy
used is Newspaper. Burger King promote itself under the food category of the
newspaper. This is to make reader hungrier when they read about food and see
the sandwiches from Burger King. Promoting in newspaper gives high coverage and
can act as a coupon. In addition, the cost is low, meaning more profits for
Burger King. However, it has short life and has poor reproduction quality.

 

With over 200
thousands likes on their Facebook page, Burger King use social media to
advertise their new Sandwich. This is to get attention from the people and have
an interactive relationship with them. However, some people refuse to look at
advertisements, once they see it they just simply scroll away.

 

Ethics

Gender stereotyping
can be seen in this advertisement. There is a portrayal of women acting as sex
objects. The blonde women look as though as she is in a sexual position,
presenting sexual submissiveness. This creates a problem for children as they
lack the knowledge and skills to know what the advertisement is about. In
addition, they may get curious about it and may carry out their own research to
find out more. This will lead to a problem for parents as their kids will be a
little corrupted after finding out. It is a problem for women as well as they
are not respected, reflecting their change of role in the society. What was
worst is that the blonde women Burger King used in its advertisement was not
aware that her image was used. The blonde women even sued Burger King for its
unethical behavior and even said they are disgusting.

 

Recommendation

Burger King wants
to promote its new sandwiches by trying to showcase the size of it on its print
advertisement. However I felt that they have gotten it all wrong, hence here
are my recommendation on how I would improve the advertisement and add value to
the current campaign.

 

Be confident and
challenge customers. One point that this campaign stressed on is the size of
the sandwiches. It might seem skeptical for some customers, hence Burger King
can actually challenge them by asking customers to bring their own ruler to
measure it. If the “BK SUPER SEVEN INCHER” is shorter than seven inch,
customers can exchange the sandwich, a refund or even dining vouchers. This is
to create a bold statement that the sandwich is huge. This will encourage
prospects to come try out Burger King’s “BK SUPER SEVEN INCHER” sandwiches as
they want to challenge Burger King to get the dining vouchers.

 

Instead of using the
women which caused many problems, Burger King can actually start a hashtag (#SevenInch)
to make it trend on social media such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. In
order to encourage customers to use this hashtag, weekly lucky draws can be
conducted to give customers incentives to use the hashtag. What the customers
need to do is to post a picture of the sandwich and tag it with #SevenInch in
any of the three social media. They are then automatically eligible to enter
the weekly lucky draw. This helps Burger King to increase sales as customers
have to purchase the “BK SUPER SEVEN INCHER” to be eligible to participate in
the draw. Not only that, with them posting on their social media, it spreads to
their followers and friends, hence creating more awareness about this campaign.
As more and more people will start using this hashtag, it will become a topic
of discussion and a trend. This will be in favor of Burger King as more and
more people will then start to patronize Burger King. 

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