All businesses have rivals. Big brands going at each other in public, actually makes for some seriously legendary advertising and mileage. Brand wars are fun – and they actually get a lot of traction for both sides. With all the publicity and the curiosity it evokes among audiences – with expectation and anticipation thrown in, both sides stand to benefit.
These burger lords, McDonald’s and Burger King, have had skirmishes and battles that stretch over decades. And a comparison battle like this one, although fun and light on the surface, can drive some home truths strongly in.
When there is a situation like this, where two rival brands have a go at one another, it is pure entertainment, even if the bottom line is dead serious. Both brands underscore their values and their truths and strengths and both of them make it abundantly clear, how they are different from one another.
This kind of brand banter that has happened now with McDonald’s and Burger King is great as it is some very clever content that has been created. And here, it uses generative AI – the spunkiest new kid in town, ChatGPT, which only adds to the impact, if anything.
But this kind of thing goes both ways. At every turn of this kind of competitive banter, one brand stands to lose and the other one, gains. And this, with the whole world watching! When one brand appears to have emerged smarter than the other, it diminishes the other, for sure, in some way. And the attention pivots there – waiting to see what the comeback is. And there is the unbelievably intense pressure on that brand to truly come up with something clever. I mean, they can’t appear weaker or less effective than the other!
But while all this is very well, it is very important for brands to not stoop to something negative or resort to any ‘mud-slinging’ as it were. While that shows up the brand that is being flung at in a very negative light, it also reflects badly on the slinger.
In this particular battle, McDonald’s did something novel. It just took ChatGPT out for a spin and the result was fun (and you bet it would do oodles for the brand). So it decided to go public with it. Burger King couldn’t sit back and just watch McDonald’s win now, can it? And so it does its thing with ChatGPT as well, to establish that it was not a brand to be taken lightly, and that it is a giant in its own right.
And hence, the latest episode in a war that will go on for years to come, one would think!
Brand wars and banter are fun – but also a matter of deadly seriousness - because at the end of the day, despite all the fun and frivolity and apparent lightheartedness on the surface, it is a question of numbers and conquests.
The war is for winning!