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Every King Needs a Clown

Burger King Greets McDonald’s

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McDonald’s opened its first restaurant in Germany on December 4, 1971. To mark the 50th anniversary, Burger King congratulated its competitor with a tongue-in-cheek campaign: Every king needs a clown.

Burger King implemented the medieval meme on its own social media channels as well as on one mobile and 15 stationary OOH sites in the vicinity of McDonald’s German headquarters and Germany’s first restaurant in Munich.  

“Just as every king used to have a court jester, the King wouldn’t be the same without the clown”, says Klaus Schmäing, Director Marketing at BURGER KING Deutschland GmbH. “McDonald’s revolutionized gastronomy in Germany 50 years ago and thus laid the path for the entire system gastronomy. With the birthday wishes, we honor this achievement with a big wink and yet show that we face common challenges through Corona. We wish McDonald’s Germany all the best for its 50th birthday!” 

“Just as every king used to have a court jester, the King wouldn’t be the same without the clown.”

– Klaus Schmäing, Director Marketing at BURGER KING Deutschland GmbH

The congratulations campaign was developed and implemented together with the creative agency INGO Hamburg. 

“You turn 50 only once, after all, and that’s why we’re delighted that Burger King, with our support, didn’t miss the opportunity to congratulate McDonald’s in this way. We hope our competitor is happy, at least a little bit,” says Tobias Ahrens, Managing Director and Chief Creative Officer of INGO Hamburg.

message by Circle Graphics

Last year, Burger King addressed the rivalry with McDonald’s against a serious backdrop, thematizing the difficult situation the restaurant industry is facing due to the Corona pandemic. With “Order from McDonald’s”, Burger King called on fans during the lockdown to order from their favorite restaurants and even its competitor to support the restaurant industry. Guests and fans celebrated the campaign on social media and were joined by both major system restaurant chains and local restaurants. Burger King was awarded the first-ever German System Gastronomy 2021 Honorary Award by the German Federal Association of System Gastronomy (BdS) in September for this unique call for solidarity. 

About Burger King

Founded in 1954, Burger King is the second largest fast-food hamburger chain in the world. The Burger King system, founded as the “Home of the Whopper,” operates more than 18,500 restaurants in 100 countries and U.S. territories worldwide. Nearly 100 percent of Burger King restaurants are operated by independent franchisees, and many restaurants are owned by families who have been in the business for decades. 

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