Ad Campaign of the Week: Burger King Fire Ads Call Attention to Flame Grilling

Burger King flame grills all of its burgers. But while that might make for delicious menu items, it can also cause some problems. In fact, researchers found that Burger King restaurants have experienced more fires over the years than any other fast food restaurant. So the restaurant and its ad agency actually decided to use those fires in a new series of ads. The ads feature photos of Burger King restaurants on fire, with “Flame Grilled Since 1954” on each one. So how might consumers react to this concept? We asked 1,000 respondents about their fast food eating habits and then tested one of the ads to see if it made any difference.

burger king sign

Fast Food Customers

In Ask Your Target Market’s latest survey, 4% of respondents said that they go to fast food restaurants every day. 32% go a few times a week. 39% said they eat fast food a few times per month. 12% do so a few times every three months. 8% eat fast food less frequently than once every three months. And 4% said they aren’t fast food consumers at all.

Of those who eat fast food at least on occasion, 69% said they have tried Burger King. And 35% said they eat at Burger King regularly. In addition, 75% of respondents said that they’ve seen ads for fast food restaurants within the past week.

Burger King Fire Ads

Overall, 13% of fast food consumers said that they would be certain or practically certain about choosing Burger King the next time they eat at a fast food restaurant. And 20% said that it would be very probable. Of those who viewed the Burger King fire ad, 13% also said that they would be certain or practically certain about choosing Burger King. And just 18% said that it would be very probable.

Since the ads are visual ads instead of videos, it’s possible that Burger King will focus many of its efforts on print ads in newspapers and magazines. In general, 56% of those who viewed the Burger King ad said that they regularly read newspapers or magazines. And of those respondents, 16% said that they would be certain or practically certain about choosing Burger King for their next fast food purchase. And 18% said that it would be very probable.

Brand Attributes

In general, people mentioned words like burger, flame broiled, quality, Whopper, great, tasty, cheap and delicious in association with the Burger King brand. Those who viewed the Burger King ad were more likely to associate flame grilling with the restaurant. But it didn’t make a significant impact in any of the other attributes.

Key Takeaways

The Burger King ad actually made a slightly negative impact on consumers’ plans to eat at Burger King for their next fast food purchase. The effect was a bit better when only considering those who regularly read print publications like newspapers or magazines. So if Burger King focuses their ads on those types of publications, it might be able to make a bit of a return on their advertising dollars. But they should take care to avoid putting the ads in other formats, since it could actually make consumers less likely to go to Burger King in the future.

You can view the complete survey results in the widget below and be sure to click “Open Full Report” to take advantage of all the chart and filter options.

Photo Credit: “Burger King” “Burger King Sign” by Mike Mozart under CC BY 2.0

What do you want to know? If you need some consumer insights on a particular topic, let us know in the comments below and we’ll consider it for an upcoming survey post.

Results were collected on March 9 via AYTM’s online survey panel.

Anne Pilon brings 3 years experience to AYTM as a blogger and journalist. She has a degree in journalism and marketing communications from Columbia College in Chicago and enjoys writing about business, marketing, social media, and art.

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