Hate advertising? Then learn from Burger King YouTube ads

burger-king-anti-pre-rollWe all hate advertising, well, at least most advertising, because most of it is brain dead, patronising or irrelevant.

But Burger King in New Zealand has served up a lesson in marketing communication with a recent range of YouTube ads.

It takes two hands to handle the truth

Last week, in Don’t mention the war: Parking fine story penalises clear communication, I stressed how important it is to acknowledge the 900 pound gorilla in the room.

Too often when we think about communicating ‘to the masses’ we figure that if we just do what everyone else does in our industry, or we just smooth over a few ripples in our story, the audience will turn a blind eye to the omissions and come along for the ride.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

And the ‘truth’ behind the New Zealand Burger King campaign was that 80 to 85 percent of YouTube users click ‘skip ad’ when they are given a chance to dodge the ‘pre-roll’ ads that play before popular videos on the site.

That is a dilemma for a fast food giant because it knows masses of people watch videos on YouTube and pre-roll ads are a ‘supposedly’ great way to wedge communications between people seeking videos of cats playing piano and the video they want to watch.

The question: what do you do when people openly hate the advertising channel you ‘need’ to use?

The ads are better at …

In a master stroke of insight, Burger King made what it calls, ANTI pre-roll ads.

These are pre-roll ads that tell the viewer that they know the viewer hates them.

Very post modern!

What I LOVE about this approach is that it NAMES the problem, the 900 pound gorilla, which instantly WINS approval and street-cred from viewers.

There is much relief in public when leaders or politicians or advertising has the courage to speak a simple truth; this is part of the reason why commentators have written so much about the late, Nelson Mandela.

Take a look at the summary of the campaign, which includes some examples and then ponder how much of your marketing or advertising communication is making bland or baseless claims?

This just might be the era for grabbing honesty with both hands!




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