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  • Writer's pictureElise Quevedo

Using humor during branding campaigns. Who did it best? Spain’s Schweppes or UK’s Burger King?

Let’s talk about solidarity and bringing humor into branding! Over the last few days, brands from two countries have used humor into some social campaigns. But who did it best? Spain or Uk?

In Spain, Schweppes, Larios Gin and Gordon’s Gin have used humor into their branding and social campaigns to lift the spirits of people during #Covid19 times and the 8pm closures in the hospitality sector specially bars and restaurants.

Schweppes begun by using fun facts of different cultures around Europe onto billboards around the country to teach them how to have dinner at 8pm.

As you know, us Spaniards, are used to having dinner much later! (I have been based abroad for far too many years, but I remember as a teenager, finding really weird that people had dinner at 6pm in England for example!) I travel between Spain and the rest of the world often, and there is nothing like sitting down at a terrace in Spain and ordering some tapas at 10 or 11pm whilst enjoying that familiar ambiance and friendlyvibe! (and yes, us Spanish are dying without hugs and kisses, also one of the most friendly cultures in the world)

Spain is the European country that tends to have dinner at the latest. After Schweppes begun, Gordon’s and Larios replied very cleverly.

Let's make it clear, at the end of every quarter is all about numbers and sales, we know this, but sometimes, we need to come together for something than is more than just money.

I want to share some of the Spanish translations so you get an idea of what they did.

“Dear English, we accept socks with sandals if you teach us to have dinner at 8pm.” "Dear Germans, we want to know why you are so serious and also how you do dinner at 8pm.” "Dear Americans, we teach you to count votes if you teach us to have dinner at 8pm." “Dear Portuguese, we forgive you for not giving us a point in Eurovision if you teach us to dinner at 8pm.” “Dear Swedish, can you you lend us the instruction manual for dinner at 8pm.?” “Dear French, 542 Spanish girls are called Amelie, enough for you to teach us how to have dinner at 8pm.?" "Dear Italians, how about some driving lessons in exchange for you to tell us how is it to have dinner at 8pm.? "Dear Austrians, can you sing us in Tyrolean how you do dinner at 8pm.?" “Dear Scots, we want to be from the dinner clan at 8pm like you" "Dear Icelanders, we take off our shoes when entering the house if you invite us to dinner at 8pm." "Dear greeks, what if we turn dinner at 8pm. into an Olympic sport together?"

Gordon’s replied:

“Hey Schweppes, if you want, I better explain it to you, that about the English, I understand a bit. Gordon’s the no1 Gin in the UK”


“Hey Schweppes, do you accept an after-lunch that lasts until 8pm as dinner? In the Mediterranean we know a lot about that"

In the United Kingdom, it was Burger King who also did solidarity and 90% of customers agree to increased brand loyalty for Burger King after reading the letter named “Order from McDonalds”

Their message read

“We never thought we’d be asking you to do this. Just like we never thought we’d be encouraging you to order from KFC, Quick, O’Tacos, Domino’s Pizza, Subway, Eat Sushi, Pizza Del Arte, Hippopotamus, Pitaya, Sushi Ship, Big Fernand, Mamma Primi, Che Michel, Le Bistrot Basque, Cafe Kokomo, Yima… or any of the other independent food outlets, too numerous to mention here. In short from any of our sister food chains (fast or not so fast) We never thought we’d be asking you to do this, bus restaurants employing thousands of staff really need your support at the moment. So, if you want to help, keep treating yourself to tasty meals through home delivery, takeaway or drive through. Getting a whooper is always best, but ordering a Big Mac is also not such a bad thing."

Whereas I think these campaigns are genius and I can see the humor behind it, as always, both campaigns also received their share of negativity.

In Spain, people said: "how rude! Making fun of people, etc"… and in the UK, they saw this as a marketing ploy wondering why Burger King would promote other brands unless they had a quid pro quo.

Sometimes, there is no hidden agenda. Of course these stunts raise awareness for their personal brands and gets the world talking about them, but isn’t this what it is always about anyway? Having creative ways to put yourself out there, and if from time to time you can elevate others, why not? (yeah, go ahead, criticize this comment too, you know I'm telling the truth!)

Me personally I salut these brands for coming together and putting a few smiles in people’s faces. It is very needed at the moment, when the world is still in turmoil.

What are your thoughts? Did they have good intentions? Or was it all just more brand promoting first?

Elise Quevedo


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