- Burger King Finland launched a marketing campaign featuring Ronald McDonald and the Burger King kissing.
- The fast food chain unveiled the posters last week for Helsinki Pride.
- This isn’t the first time Burger King has used its rival in adverting campaigns. In 2018, customers could get a Whopper for just $0.01 – if they went within 600 feet of a McDonald’s.
- Despite the new campaign, Burger King has come under fire this year for LGBTQ discrimination.
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Burger King last week unveiled a poster ahead of Finland’s Pride celebrations — and passers-by may have been startled to see it bearing the mascot of its biggest rival, McDonalds.
Posters and billboard signs throughout Finland featured the Burger King, the chain’s mascot, kissing Ronald McDonald. Together, their heads form a heart shape next to the name of the artwork, “Love Conquers All.”
Burger King launched the campaign as the sponsor of Helsinki Pride Week, which the country pushed back from June to September because of the pandemic.
“Burger King has always stood for equality, love and everyone’s right to be just the way they are,” Kaisa Kasila, Burger King Finland’s brand manager, said in a release. “We thought, what better way to convey our values than by portraying an all-encompassing kiss between Burger King and McDonald?”
This isn’t the first time Burger King has used its rival in marketing campaigns.
In December 2018, Burger King promoted its revamped app by launching a deal where customers could get a Whopper for just $0.01 – if they went within 600 feet of a McDonald’s. And this July, Burger King Finland offered customers free delivery if they ordered their food to a McDonald’s restaurant – and placed adverts for this outside McDonald’s restaurants.
Though Burger King’s chief marketing officer dismissed claims that it targeted the golden arches, in February the burger chain launched adverts featuring a moldy Whopper to show that it contains no artificial preservatives. Social media users were quick to compare this to the long shelf life of McDonalds’ food – a McDonald’s hamburger and fries have remained on display in Iceland since its last restaurant in the country closed in 2009, and are still mold-free more than 10 years later.
Earlier this year, Burger King in Mexico temporarily renamed itself Burger Queer on social media for the country’s Pride. In 2014 one store also sold a limited edition “Proud” Whopper to celebrate San Francisco Pride – though hundreds of people criticized the move on social media and vowed to boycott the chain.
Despite these moves, Burger King has come under fire this year for LGBTQ discrimination.
A transgender Burger King employee in California died from COVID-19 in July after working at the restaurant with severe symptoms, and colleagues say management blamed her death on “injecting hormones.” Employees at the store went on strike, with one filed a complaint saying that “Burger King blamed her sexuality instead of COVID-19 as the cause of her death.”
In February, a Burger King employee filed a discrimination complaint against a store in Washington, D.C., claiming her manager repeatedly harassed her because of her sexual orientation. This led to her developing severe mental health problems after the issue continued even after she formally reported it to the Burger King district manager.