Do some campaigns go too far? To the point where the customer forgets what they were even selling?
Burger King’s Moldy Whopper is creatively great work. Yet again, I feel it’s the type of advertising that advertising people like most. It’s an awards magnet. Downside I feel that it will not change the consumer’s opinion much. So then the question becomes, do these campaigns go too far, or do they not go nearly far enough?
What does the perfect balance look like?
A campaign that’s in the heart of culture, so it’s relevant, and don’t forget to make it delicious. Always. Then bring the deliciousness in a consistent manner and you’ll stand out and be memorable. That’s all you need to do to gain market share.
How critical is creating a unique identity today, when, for a lot of restaurants, the only time they see the customer is at the drive thru?
It’s as critical as it always was. Humans do not really change because of a pandemic. It does add gazillions of opportunities though: signs, leaflets, screens, sounds, experience, unboxing, proximity sensors, Bluetooth, AR, need I go on? The consumer is right there, near your restaurant, waiting for food. That smells not only of food, but also of opportunities.
Can this go a long way to establishing the trust factor so critical during COVID times?
Eating is an intimate act. So yes, brands have new stories to tell. Food safety always was critical, but it has become top of mind now for consumers. Again, not a problem, but an opportunity: bring the message of safety and trust in a way that underlines your brand’s DNA and it becomes an opportunity.
How do you think the pandemic has changed fast-food advertising?
In Europe, big brands have initially cancelled campaigns massively. They also cancelled premium offerings and taste variants because the logistics proved to be difficult. Campaigning is now happening mostly on core products so that leads to a different creative platform. I’m convinced we will go back to normal in the end. The inner workings of humans do not fundamentally change, even though decision taking and the process may.