If Burger King wants to land a successful launch in Belgium, it might be wise to suspend their first ad campaign which bizarrely pokes fun at the Belgian royal family.
Somehow, Burger King managed to piss off King Phillippe of Belgium by running an ad campaign website that forces users to pick “who is the king?” between King Philippe and Burger King. Strangely, as Metro UK notes, when you choose King Phillippe (who’s name is directly referenced) the ad asks, “Are you sure? he won’t be the one to cook your frites.”
Amazingly, King Phillippe’s spokesperson commented disapproval towards the ad, stating Burger King didn’t ask to use Phillippe’s likeness.
‘The use of the King’s image is subject to authorisation,’ the spokesman added.
‘In this particular case, we received no requests. Since it is for commercial purposes, we would not have given our authorisation.’
One way to ensure launching a franchise in a new country goes poorly is by getting immediately criticized by the royal family of said country. I mean, how do publish a campaign like this without at least seeking permission from the king? Yes, I know it’s somewhat satirical, but the cons greatly outweighed the pros in this scenario.
Burger King does walk away with great publicity, as what are the chances people outside Belgium would even know the fast-food giant was coming to that country. But, next time, it might be best to ask for permission or think of a different ad campaign that won’t upset the royal family.