RBI Global CMO Fernando Machado Takes Us Inside Burger King’s ‘Timeless’ Rebrand

RBI Global CMO Fernando Machado Takes Us Inside Burger King’s ‘Timeless’ Rebrand

By  |  January 13, 2021  |  Uncategorized  |  No Comments

Fernando Machado is a name that is synonymous with bold marketing. From his time as global CMO for Burger King for nearly 6 years, Fernando and team—both internal and agency partners—served up some of the most creative and daring campaigns, including Whopper Detour and Moldy Whopper. Campaigns that not only proved how bold the brand could be, but also how bold campaigns have the power to drive real business results.  

For his return to CMO Moves, we met up in a Miami Burger King (restaurant ambient sounds and all) to dive into the what and why behind BK’s recent rebrand and how he ensures his team and partners are being creative—but not just for creatives sake.  

In January 2020, Fernando took on the role of overseeing not just the Burger King brand, but also Popeye’s and Tim Horton’s and noted how the switch from one to three brands has stretched his creativity even further. He explained, “the more you think about different things and use lateral thinking to see different realities, the more creative you get.” 

And it’s with that creative lens that Fernando, his team and agency partners were able to make a nostalgic rebrand feel fresh and new for Burger King. Fernando shared how this rebrand was a long time coming in order to catch up with where the brand is now and where it’s going.  

“Because we’ve achieved some key milestones in food quality in sustainability, in experiences, and in digital, we felt that that was the time to renew the visual identity to signal to people that the brand is evolving.” 

And with a rebrand that was cooking for nearly two years and transcends beyond just a visual identity, Fernando noted how cross-functional collaboration was not only key, it was crucial. He also explains how true collaboration involves “leveraging each person’s point of views and strengths to make whatever you were doing better.” 

Tune in to hear more from Fernando on how to ensure you keep creativity alive, how to sell ideas on the inside and why expanding your influence across your organization is so critical to your success and happiness.  

Heard on this Episode: Fernando’s Tips for Success 

Expand Your Influence 

“If you are in marketing, expand the influence that you have in the company—push for sustainability, push for clean ingredients, push for diversity and inclusion, push for what you believe the future is and try to be on the right side of history. Don’t just put yourself in this box of just marketing. I think that people who can marry their personal values with the impact that they can have in organizations will succeed.” 

Prove Creativity by Connecting to Business Objectives 

Each campaign and each idea may have a slightly different objective. I think it’s important to define very clearly, what’s your objective for what you’e trying to do, what are the metrics that are going to prove the case and then start slow, but start. And prove that creativity can help you achieve that objective in a faster, cheaper, better way through metrics. And then over time, people are going to start to believe it. 

Be Patient and Strategic 

“It’s funny because sometimes I show an idea to my boss, who is the CEO—not because he’s asking me, but because I’m excited about the idea—and then he looks at it and says something like, ‘Oh my God, that makes me really uncomfortable. It’s probably going to work.’ 

It was a journey around showing that something creative pays off and believing that achieving it can be a source of competitive advantage. Lots of people, when they look from the outside, they think that some of the stuff that we do may be like kicking an open door, or maybe just creative for the sake of being creative. But there is a strategy behind all that madness.” 

About the Author: Heide Palermo

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