Daily Insights

Tread Lightly in Trend Territory

By: Alizah Asif Farooqi | May 02, 2019

Burger King is turning the Happy Meal upside down. The restaurant just stoked a new beef with McDonald’s by launching a line of “Real Meals” that reflect various moods (except for, uh, happy), then cooking up a digital campaign around the new products. This isn’t the first time Burger King has fired away at its enemies, but this shot might not pan out the way that the brand hopes.

The #FeelYourWay campaign, a collaboration with Mental Health America, launched with a YouTube ad in which young people lament their perceived lack of freedom to feel their feelings. The video has garnered about 6,000 views since it was uploaded earlier today. Additionally, Burger King started a conversation with its audience on Twitter via a simple tweeted question, “how’s everyone feeling?”.

The more the fast food market crowds up, the more social media becomes a way for brands to distinguish themselves, according to Gartner L2’s Digital IQ Index: Restaurants. Whether it’s AI influencers, wholesome online dating services, or doughnutty digital-friendly i-do’s, restaurant labels are daring to go further on digital. In Burger King’s case, its new strategy hits all the right notes to become a social media success, especially since it tacks onto the fact that May is Mental Health Awareness month. Whether consumers dig it or not, mental health has become trendy, making it a prime target for many brands to latch onto.

But that doesn’t mean customers will dig in to BK’s new meals. In fact, because there’s no indication that the brand is donating any of its Real Meals proceeds to any advocacy groups or non-profits, the campaign actually runs the risk of coming across more capitalist than concerned. Because it didn’t match a motion to the message in #FeelYourWay, Burger King may have missed the boat on how to tackle trends. The next time your brand wants to take a swing at an enemy, tread lightly in trend territory.