Integrated Marketing Communications (IMC) is one of the reasons for Burger King to be the second-largest fast-food hamburger chain in the world. IMC involves carefully integrating and coordinating the company’s communication channels to deliver a clear, consistent, and compelling message about the organization and its product. The IMC channels of Burger King are a blend of promotional tools that persuasively communicate customer value and build customer relationships. It aims at fulfilling needs at reasonably priced quality food served quickly in the following ways:
Burger King ads always leave its audience awestruck. Advertising is any paid form of non-personal presentation and promotion of ideas, goods, or services by an identified sponsor. Burger King Ads forms a perception in the mind of its target audience that the brand is innovating and cares about serving its customers.
Burger King used Guerrilla Marketing Strategy in the “Burn that Ad” Campaign using AR technology which provides a special feature to set customers set their rivals Ad on fire simply by pointing the smartphone camera at the Ad. This gave them access to a free Whopper. The purpose of this ad campaign was to retain existing customers by offers, make potential customers download the app to place orders easily; notify them of future offers, and creating brand awareness. It reminds customers about Burger King’s signature flame – grilling cooking technique.
“The Mouldy Whopper” Campaign applied Agile Storytelling Marketing Strategy as a commitment to remove artificial preservatives and provide quality food. The core message was that the real food is that which gets ugly and that is why they are rolling out whopper free from artificial preservatives. This campaign shows that the company is concerned about meeting their expectations for providing quality food.
Sales Promotion is the heart of Burger King’s IMC channel as it helps in generating sales. Sales promotion is short-term incentive to encourage the purchase or sale of a product or a service. The company understands the culture and demographics of India as a price-sensitive market and has unique ways to attract existing and new customers. It is exceptionally good at customizing its product on special occasions for the customers.
Burger King provides amazing coupons that compel customers to place an order. It also refreshes its coupons about once a week, and the same ones will pop up over and over. “Buy 1, get 1 whopper” promotion where selected burger boxes have a free item coupon inside. Burger King App provides massive discount offers for customers on their first order. There are online games where you can win the crowns and later redeem the crows and get exclusive offers.
“Be Your Way” Campaign applied Moment Marketing on International Men’s Day. It attempted to promote the new normal that men can also like pink, can be soft as softies, and cheesy too.
When customers buy food at their locations, whether it be in the drive-thru or in-store, Burger King uses personalised selling strategy. Personal Selling is having personal customer interactions by the company’s sales force for the purpose of engaging customers, making sales, and building customer relationships. Retail outlets prefer Bundle Pricing Strategy as they understand the changing customer preferences and urge to buy complements like fries, coke, ice – creams, meals, etc.
In the Pandemic, since it was difficult for people to drive into the outlets, the “Distancing, make it fashion” Campaign with giant cardboard sombreros styled as crowns was an innovative move. It reminds people to stay distant from each other.
3X Onion Whooper – “Social Distancing Whopper” Campaign offered a Whopper with extra onions and it promises “to keep people away from you”. It was a humorous tongue-in-cheek ad that promoted the reopening of their stores and restaurants.
An efficient public relations team brings a lot of visibility to their target audience. Public Relations involve, building up a good corporate image and handling unfavourable humour, stories, and events. Burger King engages in many sponsorships, collaborations, scholarships to increase its brand equity and stay in the competition.
Customers are excited about how Burger King replies to McDonald’s’ on social media for its emotional humorous tonality. “Why to eat with a clown when you can dine with the king” was a perfect Competitive Advertising and Brand Association Strategy as it also involves McDonald’s’. They promoted the idea of dining with a King than eating with a Clown. Thereby grabbing attention by ideating an association of King with their own brand and increased brand image and superiority in the customer’s mind.
The limited-edition “Big Boss Whopper” was unveiled by Neha Dhupia in association with COLORS TV. They offered the whopper in various flavours. The brand used Influencer and Buzz Marketing to increase sales with the main idea being that Big Boss Contestant resembled which flavour.
“Order from McDonald’s” tweet operated on an Emotional Appeal Strategy to save the job of McDonald’s employees. In no time, the tweet went viral, garnering a large share of the netizens’ love and admiration. This gesture of Burger King grew respect for them from its customers which strengthened their brand image.
Marketing communications goes beyond these specific tools. The Burger’s taste, ingredients, packaging, etc. all communicate something to the buyer. These elements also create brand recognition, product development, and form brand image for the company. It wants customers to know that Burger King is still strong, creative, and the emphasis is still on the customer. Thus, Integrated Marketing Communication is the coordination of a brand’s primary engagement activity and the promotion mix for its greatest impact.