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Santa isn’t real? Has Burger King gone ‘Grinch’ this Christmas?

The brand takes aim at Santa Claus and competitors McDonald's and Wendy's while hijacking the iconic ‘Driving Home For Christmas’ holiday song.

Burger King is stirring up some straight-up ‘Grinch’-y mischief this Christmas! It has launched a bold three-pronged campaign that takes a whimsical jab at none other than Santa Claus, all while reimagining the beloved UK holiday tune, Driving Home For Christmas.

In a move that's both audacious and innovative, the fast-food giant is unleashing a multi-faceted marketing blitz featuring outdoor posters and a catchy, remastered anthem titled Driving (thru the) Home (of the Whopper) for Christmas (Try saying that three times—fast), and radio spots.

At the core of this 'hijacking Christmas' initiative is an almost eight-minute musical remake of Chris Rea's classic, humorously retitled to incorporate Burger King's iconic burger.

"Sorry for cooking this age-old song but must hit Q4 Revenue!"

Crafted by London agency Bartle Bogle Hegarty (BBH), the song serves a dual purpose – providing directions to 21 actual Burger King locations with amusing commentary and quite cleverly challenging the traditional narrative of Santa Claus.

The lyrics of the remastered carol are a Christmas stocking full of references and funny comments. The weirdly hypnotic track, ‘sung’ by the automated voice of a sat nav system, playfully directs listeners to their nearest Burger King drive-through, complete with humorous commentary aimed at competitors.

For instance, lines like "Fancy a milkshake? Our machines tend to work!" slyly poke fun at rival fast-food establishment Wendy’s, and the line "Unlike those clowns, our juicy burgers are large, not medium!" takes a merry swipe at McDonald’s, adding a layer of industry banter to the festive cheer.

But the ‘King’ is not bereft of self-awareness. The lyrics, "Sorry for cooking this age-old song but must hit Q4 Revenue!" playfully acknowledge the commercial nature of the campaign and its strategic timing in the business calendar.

Within all this, the song also incorporates references to safe driving practices within its robotic yet somehow not lifeless delivery of the festive narrative. Well, for a song ‘sung’ by a sat nav, that could just be part of the deal.

The lyrics "Put a seat belt round your Whopper, big precious cargo" nudges listeners to prioritise seat belt safety, using a burger as a whimsical metaphor for precious cargo. Additionally, "Park up! The Whopper needs two hands," encourages drivers to not let themselves be distracted by food while driving on slippery, snowy roads.

"Unlike those clowns, our juicy burgers are large, not medium!"

The entire song is also filled with humorous descriptions of Burger King locations and suggestions for what to order at each stop.

The outdoor posters, strategically placed across the UK, further amplify the campaign's irreverent spirit. Featuring Santa caught with his cap down at a Burger King, indulging in a Whopper, with fries and an iced beverage on the side, the poster simply reads “Whoppers.”

The visual narrative playfully implies that even the festive icon might be part of a grand deception, adding an extra layer of cheekiness to the overall message.

The dual connotations of the term 'Whopper' are also exploited in the song lyrics. While it straightforwardly references Burger King's iconic burger, it also cleverly becomes a wordplay to challenge the authenticity of Santa for children, as the term ‘whopper’ is also used colloquially in English to refer to a big lie or an exaggerated story.

BBH's parody-laden melody is also set to grace local radio stations, ensuring a widespread reach for the unconventional campaign. The song, filled with wordplay and references, challenges the norms of traditional holiday advertising with its irreverent take on Santa's existence.

While the campaign doesn't shy away from mischievously subverting the symbols of Christmas while reminding listeners to drive safely, it successfully positions itself as a unique and attention-grabbing addition to the festive advertising landscape, ensuring that this Christmas, the brand is set to be remembered for more than just its iconic burgers.

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