Mouldy Burgers, Brand Impressions and Measuring Marketing Effectiveness

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Cubery recently posted an analysis of a somewhat controversial ad by fast-food giant, Burger King. In the :45 spot, the decline of Whopper over the course of 34 days was shown in time-lapse video. At the end, we have a burger ensconced in mould, illustrating the restaurant’s commitment to no preservatives. Cubery conducted a research study for the ad to gauge consumer reactions. The results were not surprising to most.

Cubery writes: “To determine the effectiveness of advertising, we look at 3 Cs:   

  • Captivate: Does it attract and retain attention, and engage in an emotional way?   
  • Connect: Is the brand instantly recognisable?  
  • Compel: Does it leave people with a lasting impression about the brand?”  

While the respondents liked some aspects of the ad, including the compelling music and the very different approach, they were also a bit put off and the ad “triggered ‘gross’, ‘disgusting’ and ‘weird’ associations, overshadowing messaging around Burger King’s commitment to serving fresh, preservative-free food.” Advertising experts admonished Burger King for “breaking just about every rule.”   

Measuring advertising effectiveness is vital for brands who want to captivate, connect and compel their audiences. Sometimes, a “clever” approach can end up alienating key individuals and having a negative impact. Burger King is known for its out-of-the-box thinking and can likely weather a small blip in its marketing impact, but most brands need to take a data-driven approach and monitor reactions.

Cubery found that by having a “conversation” with those for whom the ad was designed that, ultimately, the results landed somewhere on middle ground. It was “certainly not the transformational campaign that gushing adoration at forthcoming advertising award shows would suggest, but equally not one which risks harming Burger King’s iconic reputation.”

Understanding and measuring consumer reactions to ad campaigns with effective digital techniques can help to advise future outreach. Using real-time audience insights, brands can create the right messaging and delivery vehicles to achieve desired results.

For the complete results of the Burger King study, powered by Cint, you can view the article here: