Still image from Burger King's Chicken Royale advert, showing a person with cropped hear, glasses and a retro outfit staring at a 60s TV screen showing the word 'Whopper'

What Whopper? Chicken reigns supreme in Burger King’s retro ad

A new ad campaign by BBH concedes that, in the UK, Burger King isn’t necessarily Home of the Whopper

Burger King’s new campaign shows that, despite throwing endless Whopper adverts at customers, in the UK, chicken is king.

The campaign, We Give Up, shows a series of adverts from the 1960s to the present day all badgering people to buy its famous beef burger – the Whopper – but with the protagonist opting for a Chicken Royale instead. The chicken burger has become a ‘fan favourite’ in the UK, according to the brand, despite very little promotion by comparison.

The journey into the past allows for a lovely retro vibe that gels nicely with Burger King’s revamped branding. The vintage ads and posters are a nice touch, and even the Infinity Orchestra’s original song, Whopper Whopper, journeys through eras – all of which are doing overtime by advertising to us viewers, as well as serving the story.

The ad is a rare example of a self-own, both for the brand (which pits its hero product against another menu item), and for an ad agency, which seems happy to suggest that advertising can be both relentless and ineffective. Yet it appears both walked into this situation willingly, with Burger King’s brand and communications director Soco Núñez de Cela describing it as a “simple yet self-aware idea”.

The campaign launched to coincide with Chicken Royale Day, which allowed customers to buy one for £1, and will run across TV, OOH, social, and print into next year.

Photo of three vertical outdoor posters for Burger King, each showing a person wearing a colourful outfit eating a Chicken Royale, displayed inside a station
Posters shot by Lou Escobar

Agency: BBH
CCO: Alex Grieve
ECD: Helen Rhodes
Deputy ECD: Felipe Guimaraes
Creatives: Oliver Short, Jennifer Ashton
Designers: James Parkinson, Josh Bailey
Director: The Sacred Egg
Production Company: Riff Raff
Post-Production: The Mill