Top of the Month: Burger King 'bully' video shows top brands can tackle tough topics

If Pepsi's notorious Kendall Jenner protest march campaign shows how not to link a brand with a progressive issue or good cause, Burger King's new video demonstrates how it can be done in a sensitive and thought-provoking way.

The fast-food giant linked up with anti-bullying group No Bully in this creative and well-executed campaign entitled Bullying Junior.

Hidden cameras at a Burger King restaurant in the US filmed a young pupil being bullied by friends (all actors). A Whopper JR burger was also ‘bullied’ - punched, smashed, destroyed - and served to customers by an actor pretending to be an employee.

While 95 per cent of the real-life customers reported their bullied burger, just 12 per cent notified staff about the boy who was targeted in full view.

The release of the video, created by US agency David Miami, on Burger King’s social channels, has been accompanied with a media campaign highlighting the fact that 30 per cent of school children worldwide are bullied each year. In the UK, 50 per cent of children have been bullied at some point.

Statistics on bullying are also included in the video, which will be promoted again in the UK during Anti-Bullying Week (13-17 November).

No Bully CEO and founder Nicholas Carlisle said "Our partnership with Burger King is an example of how brands can bring positive awareness to important issues."

The tie-in with No Bully helps the campaign feel authentic, in a similar vein to Sainsbury's linking up with the Royal British Legion for its much-discussed 2014 Christmas campaign set during the First World War.

And the simplicity of the BK campaign, the strength of the message and controlled use of humour makes it a winner, and may help improve customers' perception of the burger behemoth.

Rival McDonald's, responsible earlier this year for the infamous 'dead dad' film in the UK, should take note - and another purveyor of panned promotional pushes this year, Dove, might also learn lessons.

Read next:

Pepsi says 'sorry' and removes Kendall Jenner ad from the web

Burger King CMO: don't treat agencies like creative vending machines

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