Cannes Lions

Explains a lot

COOLR, London / BURGER KING / 2019


1 Silver Cannes Lions
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Burger King has a longstanding history of trolling rival McDonalds. It is a way of showcasing product superiority, pushing a more engaging tone of voice with the desired target audience – and of course, having a little fun.

Influencers have become the buzz word in marketing - with brands engaging social media stars to endorse products in return for freebies and cash incentives.

We turned this concept on its head by flame grilling one of the most iconic music stars on the planet - and attacking our main rival at the same time.


Burger King’s overarching goal in social is to connect with popular culture moments to reach and engage with our audience.

So when Kayne tweeted his love for McDonalds – Burger King was ready.

Normally, when a competitor is given public love by a superstar you back off. Grit your teeth and leave them to it. But not Burger King. The brand went all in and transformed a potential PR headache into its biggest social activation of 2018…

The three worded response - Explains a lot – flame grilled both Kanye West and McDonalds in what has become the most liked tweet by a brand of all time.

It said everything about their rival without saying too much.

It summed up the mood of the internet towards Kanye and his increasingly suspect judgement calls. This was about putting Burger King right in the heart of popular culture…


We developed an audience-based proposition for Burger King on social that was based on creating a simple reaction; we wanted our fans to see our content and say “Yes Burger King!”.

Yes, only Burger King would dare do this.

Yes, Burger King understands me and my world.

And Yes - Burger King is the brand for me.

We had established a new social media presence and developed a unique tone of voice for the brand - and were quickly getting a reputation with our audiences.

A key aspect of our approach was a realtime social listening programme to engage in directly relevant conversations that impact the brand.

When a global superstar shares public love for your main rival – most brands retreat and steer well clear of the activity.


The activation was a real time response on Twitter and relied 100% on organic reach across both social and earned media.

This was a simple yet powerful activation that cost literally nothing to achieve.

All it took was confidence a little bravery and some quick thinking.

With zero paid media – the Burger King tweet, Explains a lot, travelled across the globe – with people sharing, tweeting and reporting on Burger King across social media.

We achieved over 200 pieces of earned media coverage across TV, print and online media with titles including The Daily Mail, The Sun, Fox News adding to the conversation – as did titles that directly engage with our millennial / Gen Z audiences NME, Esquire and Cosmo.

This was a truly global activation with coverage secured across the world.


Explains a lot became the most liked tweet by a brand of all time – achieving over 1 Million likes!

All the conversation was 100% positive from fans and media alike.

Included below are further stats and sources from the activity.

- Over 1 Million likes (Source Twitter) – the most liked brand tweet of all time.

- 270K+ retweets (Source Twitter) – driving a huge reach of advocates.

- 1.8 Million engagements (Source Twitter) – demonstrating huge brand love.

- 47 Million Twitter impressions (Source Twitter) - showing the size of the conversation that was truly popular.

- $5,935,076.00 Media value (Source Cision) - from just three words, this was a colossal amount of earned media.

- 536,769,063 Media reach (Source Cision)

- 1.5 Billion impressions (Source Cision)

And global fan love for Burger King with almost universal positive sentiment.

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