Rival burger giants duke it out with big-dollar promos

LOS ANGELES: McDonald’s and Burger King have once again raised the stakes in their battle for PR supremacy, with multi-million dollar Pokemon and Toy Story 2 campaigns putting the fast-food giants in direct competition with one another for holiday dollars.

LOS ANGELES: McDonald’s and Burger King have once again raised the stakes in their battle for PR supremacy, with multi-million dollar Pokemon and Toy Story 2 campaigns putting the fast-food giants in direct competition with one another for holiday dollars.

LOS ANGELES: McDonald’s and Burger King have once again raised the

stakes in their battle for PR supremacy, with multi-million dollar

Pokemon and Toy Story 2 campaigns putting the fast-food giants in direct

competition with one another for holiday dollars.



In their latest collaborations with Hollywood, the nation’s two biggest

fast-food chains last month launched major PR drives to maximize their

Godzilla-sized toy-based promotions. This time, Burger King’s Pokemon

promotion goes head-to-head with McDonald’s Toy Story 2 tie-in.



The second-place BK chain, with over 8,000 locations, has launched a

dollars 22 million spending blitz to promote 57 different Pokemon toys

it will give away. The program ties into Pokemon: The First Movie, the

Warner Bros. animated film that opened last month.



’This has been our most successful PR campaign ever,’ said Burger King

PR director Kim Miller. ’We’re using PR to generate maximum exposure for

the promotional properties, and the fact that we have no exclusive

arrangement with a film studio (as McDonald’s has with Disney) has

allowed us to be the belle of the ball when it comes to promotional

partners.’



McDonald’s claims the rivalry has not pressured the company to step up

its PR efforts, especially since the company was in the throes of

planning its estimated dollars 30 million program to trumpet the Toy

Story sequel. The four-week campaign, which will see the Golden Arches

donate more than 10,000 toys, kicked off with a media event at one of

its LA restaurants last week.



McDonald’s, which boasts 13,000 restaurants, had attempted to keep

details of the program under wraps, but marketing VP R. J. Milano,

conceded, ’It’s one of the largest PR events we’ll do all year. It’s all

about giving back to the communities in which we do business.’



When asked if Pokemon fever had affected Mickey D’s PR agenda,

McDonald’s communications director Cathy Nemeth responded, ’We put

substantial dollars into our big Disney programs every year, and this

year’s allotment is on par with last year’s.’



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