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Burger King delivers a sick burn to the competition

Burger King new ads with grill lines
(Image credit: Burger King)

Burger King's on a bit of a roll when it comes to edgy ad campaigns, and while it doesn't always hit the mark (and sometimes ends up shooting itself in the foot), its latest effort does a great job of taking a bite out of the competition.

Once again it's focusing on BK's flagship burger, the Whopper. It's had mixed results with its Whopper campaigns of late; last month's Australian adverts for the Pride Whopper hit all the wrong notes, prompting an apology from the agency behind it, although its brilliantly self-deprecating 'All About the Whopper' ads were great attention-grabbers, highlighting the fact that most people can't identify any other BK burgers.

And I reckon the new campaign could be on to another winner. It's the work of venerable ad agency BBH, and this time around it's all about how BK's burgers are flame-grilled, and how if grill lines on your fast food matter to you then Burger King's the only place to get them. BBH has come up with a fantastically minimal campaign based around the seven lines, and to ram the point home it's come up with colour variations reflecting the palettes of other well-known fast food brands, and put up adverts near their outlets complete with cheeky seven-word taglines.

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Now, I'm not entirely sure that those seven apparently iconic grill lines really matter that much to anyone popping out for a quick burger, but I do love the idea of seeing this advert outside a branch of McDonald's:

Burger King new ads with grill lines

Ouch (Image credit: Burger King)

BK also takes a pop at the admittedly cooler Five Guys with another ad, but on the other hand, I'm not quite so convinced by this swipe at KFC. I might not know a lot about fast food, but I'm fairly sure that grill lines on fried chicken aren't really an option. Isn't it deep-fried or something?

Burger King new ads with grill lines

This one feels like more of a stretch (Image credit: Burger King)

Obviously they can't all be zingers, and another ad poking fun at Subway falls similarly flat to me; who goes to Subway in search of a delicious flame-grilled burger? On the whole, though, I really like this campaign, especially the way it combines minimalist design and copy with just the right palettes to roast the competition without falling foul of the Advertising Standards Authority's rules on comparative advertising.

I can't say it makes me want to go out right now and buy a Whopper, but that's just me. On the other hand I'm looking forward to seeing where these ads show up in the wild; let us know if you spot one!

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Jim McCauley
Jim McCauley

Jim McCauley is a writer, performer and cat-wrangler who started writing professionally way back in 1995 on PC Format magazine, and has been covering technology-related subjects ever since, whether it's hardware, software or videogames. A chance call in 2005 led to Jim taking charge of Computer Arts' website and developing an interest in the world of graphic design, and eventually led to a move over to the freshly-launched Creative Bloq in 2012. Jim now works as a freelance writer for sites including Creative Bloq, T3 and PetsRadar, specialising in design, technology, wellness and cats, while doing the occasional pantomime and street performance in Bath and designing posters for a local drama group on the side.