Creative Director’s Choice: Chemistry’s Chris Breen applauds Burger King’s anti-bullying stunt

Burger King’s anti-bullying stunt was powerful, hyper-relevant and a fearless move by the brand.


By using their restaurant, signature burger, and even their own customers, they have made a very important point that wasn’t about selling burgers, but rather about the world we live in and the issues we face both directly and indirectly. That’s what great work is about today – being truly, socially relevant in a time when every brand on earth is also trying to be socially relevant.


What I admire most about the work is that they didn’t settle.


Creating a message that says “bullying is bad” would have been easy. Had they done that, all meaningful impact – including the dialogue and noise created around the topic – would be lost. As marketers, we hear words like “socially relevant” and “platform” thrown around all the time. Everyone is looking for that magic in the bottle, but few brands are willing to challenge themselves or their customers to create that type of raw dialogue. I would venture to guess dozens, if not hundreds of brands crafted messaging for anti-bullying month. There is a reason this is the stunt everyone talked about. It was grounded in a simple insight that made it stand out from the rest. The real problem isn’t just people who bully – it’s the people who sit by and do nothing about it.


To connect the dots in the way Burger King did – by showing us how their customers became outraged when their burger was beaten up in front of them, but not when a teenager in the restaurant was verbally and emotionally beaten up in front of them – is raw and challenging. It takes the brand from passive observer to an active participant in the conversation. That’s a hard thing to do. Just ask the other hundred brands that tried to do the exact same thing, at the exact same time.


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