Evangelism Marketing a la Burger King

Evangelism Marketing a la Burger King

This early November, we were surprised by Burger King. Their latest social media campaign was a shout-out to McDonald’s. Yes, you read that right. In Burger King’s latest marketing campaign, they shone the spotlight not on themselves, but on another fast food chain. But it wasn’t just McDonald’s — Burger King asked their loyal customers to patronise other fast food chains as well. Such an unconventional marketing method cause the campaign to soon become viral.

Burger King released a statement on Twitter urging people to order takeaway from other fast food outlets including McDonald's during the lockdown.

More than a just shoutout

Many people who read Burger King’s campaign poster believe that it is in fact acceptable behaviour from Burger King to give a shoutout to their competitors. The reason behind such a move was due to the F&B industry being hit hard with the recent pandemic. Many fast food outlets had to stop operating in order to keep the business alive, which meant that many employees lost their jobs. Burger King’s campaign therefore gave courage to people around the world; to support each other through difficult times.

But some people believe that Burger King’s marketing campaign goes beyond just a simple shoutout. Marketing experts dub Burger King’s strategy as “Evangelism Marketing”. 

Evangelism Marketing is commonly known as word of mouth marketing and relies on customers to deliver marketing messages to other potential customers. This is not an easy feat as not every company can turn their customer into an evangelist of their brand.

So what is the reason for Burger King’s latest campaign being categorized as part of Evangelism Marketing? In their campaign itself, Burger King acted as the brand evangelist for McDonald’s by encouraging others to buy from them. It’s almost as though they were positioning themselves as a customer and promoting McDonald’s products for them. 

There are at least five traits for a customer to be considered a brand evangelist:

  1. Regularly buys their products and believes in the brand
  2. Recommends the brand to family, friends, and coworkers regularly
  3. Gives the products as a gift for others
  4. Offers praise and other feedback without being asked
  5. Participates in the brand, making the customer feel like they are part of something larger than themselves

Burger King Hidden Messages behind Viral Marketing

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The shoutout campaign by Burger King indeed went viral after they posted it. Millions of social media users read the message and Burger King’s loyal customers reposted the content. This way, Burger King also manages to gain brand exposure and brand engagement even as they are giving the spotlight to McDonald’s.

But behind the campaign, Burger King placed a hidden message which actually still promotes their product. The last statement of the poster reads, “Getting a Whopper is always best, but ordering a Big Mac is not such a bad thing”. The underlying message seems to hint to us that Whopper is the best choice for a burger, whilst Big Mac is second to it. Such a subliminal message cleverly markets Burger King’s burgers while seeming to promote McDonald’s products on the surface. 

Burger King has done such a big campaign with this current condition. Getting a shoutout from a big brand is not an easy thing — moreover, getting a shoutout from a rival is miraculous to say the least. Our faith in humanity is definitely restored by Burger King through this supportive campaign in trying times.