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AD BATTLE #1 Burger King vs McDonald’s: There is more than taste…

With the concept of ad battle, we compare the branding effectiveness of two promotional videos that address similar products or services. Thanks to our advanced facial coding technology, proprietary pupil detection algorithm and the valuable feedback provided by viewers, we aim at unmasking the secrets behind every successful ad.

The format of an ad battle consists of three rounds, examining the emotional impact, the attentional power and the degree of remembrance achieved by both productions respectively.

For our very first ad battle, two videos from the major rivals in the market of fast-food industry enter the battlefield: Burger King and McDonald’s. Both contestants invite us to go back to their restaurants after the “second wave” of the COVID-19 pandemic. Same idea, but two totally different realizations.

Burger King Consignes 2 Sécurity, YouTube, uploaded by Burger King France

McDonald’s Revenez comme vous êtes, YouTube, uploaded by McDonald’s France

Interested in our analysis and curious about the result? Want to learn from their success and improve your own video content? Or it’s lunch time and you cannot decide between a Whopper and a Big Mac? This is the right article for you 

If you only have two minutes, here’s our takeaway menu for you!

  1. Both contestants succeeded very well in attracting viewers’ attention in the first few seconds and retaining their attention on a stable level until the end of the film.

  2. The key elements of both brands are well situated in the videos’ regions of interest and are well fixated by the viewers.

  3. In terms of emotional response, Burger King’s storytelling characterized by multiple moments of highlight is particularly beneficial for generating several emotional responses.

  4. McDonald’s video only reaches its climax towards the end – a classic strategy, but less advantageous when it comes to creating a strong emotional impact.

  5. Therefore, we are pleased to announce that the winner of our first ad battle is… Burger King! Two whoppers added to cart…

If you want to find out how to learn from their successes to improve you own video content, then keep reading! Detailed analysis and tips from FEELIN to discover as follows 

Round One: Emotional Impact

  1. Burger King: 18% of the Feelers reacted with strong emotions. The dominant emotion here is happiness (14%).

  2. McDonald: Only 10% of the Feelers reacted with strong emotions. Happiness is expressed by only 6% of the Feelers.

For their excellent performance in creating strong positive emotions, we are happy to announce that the winner of Round One is Burger King!!

How to understand the result?

Tips from FEELIN: Highly emotional spots increase both brand remembrance and emotional bond with the viewers. Negative emotions reduce viewers’ engagement when they are not specifically targeted.

In Burger King’s ad, passengers are sitting in a shaking plane going through a new COVID turbulence. On the line graph above, we identify several significant peaks in terms of happy emotions. This can be explained by the video’s story-telling strategy that follows a relatively dynamic problem-solution pattern: the situation is difficult, but the Burger King crew is there to ensure the safe delivery of food with all required sanitary measures.

The happiness curve roughly follows this rhythm. The peaks of happiness coincide with the moments in which food is safely delivered by Burger King. Near the end, we observe a significant rise of happiness. This is when Burger King’s captain (played by the famous French humorist Fred Testot) appears. The viewers’ level of happiness remains high until the re-introduction of the logo at the end of the film.

Compared to Burger King’s production, McDonald’s video conveys a more sentimental and touching message. This results in a balanced emotional impact on the audience. On the line chart above, we can only observe one significant peak approaching the end, when the coworkers’ names appear on the screen.

Round Two: Attentional Power

Burger King and McDonald both achieved a score of 60%. It seems we have a tie in Round Two!

What can we learn from them?

Both videos succeeded in attracting viewer’s attention in the first five seconds of the film and retaining it on a relatively stable level until the end.

Tips from FEELIN: Greater convergence of attention means that people are less likely to disengage from the content.

Keep reading and find out if McDonald’s can catch up in Round Three!

Round Three: Eye-Tracking Analysis

Tips from FEELIN: With eye-tracking analysis, we can easily locate the region of interest in the video. Making sure that the key elements (logo and tag line for example) are situated in the region of interest is crucial for the brand’s visual remembrance.

For Round Three, we will also look at the golden first five seconds of both videos. As illustrated below, we can see that in both videos keys elements are well situated in the region of interest. The (parodied) logo of Burger King is fixated 80%. McDonald’s key message “service à table” is fixated 78%. This means that Burger King has a slightly better performance that McDonald’s in Round Three!

Region of Interest McDonald’s 00:00:01

Region of Interest Burger King 00:00:02

Interestingly, in McDonald’s ad, their message of “service à table” carries more importance than the logo itself – a smart strategy from McDonald’s, since coming back to the restaurant and having the service “as usual” is the most attractive message for their customers after a long-period of delivery and take-away.

Was our analysis useful to you? If you also want to test the effectiveness of your own video content, request a demo to see how FEELIN can help you make the best of your ads!

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