Cannes Lions



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In 2012, BURGER KING® charged the PR team with generating national buzz to ignite planned rebranding efforts for the brand. Based on its internal research, BK® wanted to now expand the audience, rekindle its relationship with women and prove that BURGER KING® restaurants are a place for the entire family, with menu variety as diverse as the brand’s target audience.

Since the QSR industry is extremely competitive, the PR team knew that it had to differentiate the new menu items at BURGER KING® to entice current and new guests to visit their local restaurant and try the new offerings. With a heavy focus on revising the brand’s marketing and advertising strategy and goal of reaching an expanded audience, PR budget was limited and required the PR team to rely primarily on media relations and creative pitching, rather than events and stunts to generate buzz.

From the largest menu expansion in brand history, to finding a voice on BURGER KING® social media channels, the PR team helped the Home of the WHOPPER® find its home once again in the hearts of American consumers while positioning the brand as a food authority among its QSR peers. The results were truly “fit for a king” with more than 4.7 billion media impressions and a 4.4% Q2 sales increase.


With a celebrity-infused advertising campaign in place, PR budget was limited, focusing solely on media relations, rather than events and stunts to generate buzz.

Rebranding at BK® began with the largest menu expansion in its history. The PR team conducted personal tastings for Associated Press and USA Today industry reporters with the BK® head chef and interviews with key executives. After identifying a lack of coverage in national women’s publications, key editors were treated to an advance menu tasting. The team also conducted a targeted blogger campaign to re-introduce the brand to moms and families, while promoting BK®’s inclusive positioning, enhanced image and menu.

The second wave of menu innovations featured the Summer BBQ menu. The PR team focused outreach on the Bacon Sundae, knowing this unique offering would attract media and entice consumers to visit BK® restaurants. The announcement launched with an AP exclusive, generating significant national media attention.


Knowledge/Consideration – Expand and diversify the target audience to speak to a broader, more inclusive consumer base:

• Coverage in top outlets, i.e. “The Today Show,” AP, USA Today, WSJ, HuffPost, CNN, “Late Show with David Letterman,” “SNL”

• Key placements in female-focused outlets such as Good Housekeeping, Vanity Fair, E! News, “The Wendy Williams Show,” “Chelsea Lately”

Output/Awareness – Create widespread awareness for new BK® menu

• The year’s rebranding and summer campaigns generated 4,557 placements, garnering 4.7 billion+ media impressions

• A targeted blogger outreach campaign generated 44+ blog and website posts garnering 472,000 impressions; and 723 tweets to nearly 1 million followers total

Action/Business Impact – Drive guests to restaurants and increase new menu item sales at BK®

• In 2012, BK® saw a 4.4% sales jump in Q2 when compared to 2011 and experienced positive comps through July after a 30-month slump

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