Burger King: ad spend in the U.S. 2010-2018

Burger King’s investment in advertising in the United States decreased between 2017 and 2018 by four million U.S. dollars. The chain has been lowering its promotional spending in the country since 2016. At the same time, Burger King’s parent company Restaurant Brands International saw an increase in global ad expenditures of roughly 2.4 million dollars, however, still investing far less than the company’s all time high of 13.7 million dollars spent in 2015. Coincidentally, that year was also the year of the Burger King’s famous McWhopper campaign, which was aimed at strengthening the restaurant’s position against its closest opponents on the market of quick-serve restaurants.

Burger King: advertising success

Burger King has been widely successful with its unique advertising campaigns which mostly revolved around trolling the competition. The most recent endeavor of this kind was named Whopper Detour and ran in the U.S. in 2018. The company created an app through which customers could order a Whopper for one cent, but only if they were in the vicinity of… McDonald’s. They were then redirected via app back to the nearest Burger King location to redeem the coupon and enjoy their meal. The fast food restaurant integrated geolocation targeting, mobile app and coupon strategy in one campaign and earned an estimated 37 to 1 return on investment and reached 1.5 million downloads of the Burger King app, not to mention thousands of social media mentions. The campaign and FCB New York, the agency behind it, also won multiple awards at the Cannes Lions including the Direct Lions Grand Prix.

Advertising spending of Burger King in the United States from 2010 to 2018

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Release date

June 2019


United States

Survey time period

2010 to 2018

Special properties

measured media only

Supplementary notes

The figures include measured-media advertising spending (source: Kantar Media). Measured media from WPP's Kantar Media based on spending in 19 media: consumer magazines, Sunday magazines, local magazines, business-to-business magazines, local newspapers, national newspapers, free-standing inserts, broadcast network TV, broadcast spot TV, national syndicated TV, network cable TV, network radio, national spot radio, local radio, Spanish-language media (magazines, newspapers, TV networks), outdoor and internet (display advertising; excludes paid search, video and other forms of internet advertising).
The figures do not include unmeasured spending, such as direct marketing, promotion, internet paid search, social media and other forms of spending not included in the 19 measured media. For more information, see the methodology.

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Statistics on "Quick service restaurant brands: Burger King"

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