Burger King first entered the China market in 2005 but has been working with an assortment of local creative agencies for the past nine years. The arrangement has not always seemed to pay off; for example recall the embarassing Poo Poo Smoothie.
The last 12 months has seen rapid addition of stores, a menu expansion and marketing programs celebrating key global milestones such as the 60th anniversary.
Y&R, the first 4A agency working with Burger King in China, will be tasked to grow brand awareness around the iconic flame-grilled Whopper, along with a unique 'Taste Is King' positioning to help Burger King stand out in a crowded market dominated by some powerful competitors.
Those competitors, McDonald's and KFC, were embroiled in the same meat scandal involving workers at Shanghai Husi using rotting meat past its expiration date.
Charles Sampson, CEO of Y&R China, said Burger King always has a fun and slightly irreverent brand personality that will play well with young people and will be beefed up in China.
Frank Wang, Burger King CMO, commented, “We think Y&R will be a great partner not only to make the brand shine in China but also to grow with us shoulder to shoulder whether in glory or setbacks.”