Home Food Outlook Burger Singh’s advertising ploy: Smart or sly?
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Burger Singh’s advertising ploy: Smart or sly?

Burger Singh’s advertising ploy: Smart or sly?
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As the saying goes – all is fair in love and war. Well, this may not amount to either of it in real life, but business calls for being smart and taking on the competition when given a chance. Burger Singh, a home grown burger brand, has done just that and taken the opportunity to encash on the closure of McDonald’s restaurants in North India.

A yellow gloved hand holds a card with McDonald’s patented ‘M’ in inverted form saying ‘While we’re gone’.

According to a press note shared by the brand, since the closure of operations of McDonald’s in North India, business at Burger Singh has grown by 36% at most of the outlets, especially at those stores located closer to the global QSR chain, and by 27% an average in its other stores.

Though the growth cannot be attributed solely to the McDonald’s outlets closure or their location proximity alone, Burger Singh has shrewdly tried to indicate this in its advertising and promotions. This is evident from its campaigns where its promoters are seen wearing something similar to the mascot, Ronald McDonald. They have also come up with social media posts that show a clown’s yellow gloved hand holding a card with the brand’s patented ‘M’ in an inverted form saying ‘While we’re gone’. 

Gurgaon-headquartered Burger Singh recently raised over $4 million in two rounds of pre-seed funding and Series A funding from strategic and angel investors. It has a strong presence of 27 outlets in North India – of which 23 are in Delhi NCR, Jaipur and Dehradun – in addition to two outlets in London as well. With 280 employees working at its outlets across India, it plans to hire over 450 more by 2020 as it plans to set up 100 new outlets within three years.

RUBBING IT IN

Marketing wars are not an alien trend in the retail business – many big brands have used advertising campaigns to take digs at their competitors, whenever the opportunity presented itself. And McDonald’s has been at the receiving end of several scathing campaigns, including the ‘Burn that ad’ devised by Ogilvy for Burger King. Here, its rival encouraged customers to use augmented reality tech to fire up ‘virtual flames’ and burn McDonald’s ads in return for a free Whopper. This was also a way for Burger King to reiterate its signature cooking technique – flame-grilling.

Last year, Burger King came up with another slam dunk – the ‘Whopper Detour’ app campaign. Customers in the US ended up visiting McDonald’s stores to collect a Whopper, confounding its store associates. They could later go to a Burger King and get the iconic burger for just a cent.

And then there is the legendary Pepsi-Coke war, which ranged from spoofs to smartly crafted tag lines that mocked each other. Of course, with the emergence of ecommerce, brands like Flipkart and Snapdeal, too, took potshots at one another with abandon. 

This just goes to how that competitive advertising can surely gain eyeballs. But it can be a double-edged sword, as consumers are now smart enough to move beyond the gimmicks to know which is the brand they really want to go for.

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