Burger King Mexico boosts sales 37% by swapping gloss for realism 

Fast food chain showcases its commitment to going preservative free by capturing unpolished portraits of Mexicans grabbing a bite

In May 2022, fast food brand Burger King launched Non Artificial Mexico, an extensive outdoor campaign in Mexico that highlights the restaurant’s recent pivot to a ‘clean’ and preservative free menu. 

Working with creative agency We Believers, the OOH series showcased candid black-and-white portraits of working-class Mexicans eating Burger King’s burgers and fries, with the tagline ‘Real tastes better’, or ‘Lo real sabe mejor’ in Spanish.

Addressing the brand’s commitment to keeping its food as real as possible, the portraits featured everyday Mexicans – young, old, pregnant, makeup free, shirtless, or even high.

The campaign celebrated the locals further with an exhibit of the artwork at Mexico City’s Photography Archive Museum.

Results / According to the campaign’s case study, the achievement generated 95% brand awareness, 98% positive brand sentiment and a 36.7% increase in sales.

Contagious Insight 

Same but different / Back in 2020, Burger King shook adland with its (delete according to taste) famous/infamous The Moldy Whopper campaign, announcing its pledge to going artificial preservative free. Two years later, the fast food brand returns with the same brief to emphasise its commitment to having a ‘clean’ menu, however, this time with a suitably fresh execution. Non Artificial Mexico demonstrates Burger King’s adept ability to drive conversation through its marketing regardless of whether a campaign portrays a high level of show-stopping flash or not. Although the overall brief of the two campaigns is fundamentally the same, Non Artificial Mexico is significantly less ‘stop in your tracks’ than a decaying hamburger. Understated as it is though, this latest campaign doesn’t compromise on eye-catching creativity, nor effectiveness for that matter, as the 36.7% sales increase attests.

Non artificial contrast / A global giant like Burger King needs to regularly adapt its marketing to speak to the many foreign markets in which it operates. Non Artificial Mexico illustrates the brand’s skill at playing to the particular culture at hand. Integrating the brand’s product with the real people of Mexico through beautifully stripped-back photography shows a real affection for the country, and effortlessly demonstrates the place it has among the locals there. Not only does it tap into the theory of social proof, but the cheeky visual contrast of black-and-white portraits with the lowly act of gobbling up a burger plays as both an eye-catching medium for the brand’s distinctly memorable tone of voice, as well as a paean to the people of Mexico. This tactical and playful juxtaposition is something that could seamlessly be replicated in other cultures around the world to further distribute Burger King’s commitment to localising its brand while showcasing the real people who buy BK.

Sizzle reel / Burger King has invariably been a brand that champions stunty, fame-grilling, outrageous campaigns – at least when compared to its competitors. After all, its tongue-and-cheek antics are what invariably put it in the press. Where Burger King masters the bold and unshakeable personality in campaigns such as The Moldy Whopper and The Whopper Detour, key competitor McDonald’s hones in on the more people centric tones in campaigns such as Hands Full and Famous Orders. Non Artificial Mexico stands out as something of a pivot in tone for Burger King, a contender typically known for being the challenger-brand who punches-up to its competitors. The brand takes its distinct cheeky tone of voice and layers it with a more subdued and humanised execution – proof that you can have your burger and eat it too. 

This article was downloaded from the Contagious intelligence platform. If you are not yet a member and would like access to 11,000+ campaigns, trends and interviews, email [email protected] or visit contagious.com to learn more.