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How *not* to do International Women’s Day

Posted 12.03.21

This week, on International Women’s Day, Burger King took a *very* risque approach to highlight the annual day across Twitter. Normally known for a witty, but the charismatic tone of voice that adds character to their brand, the tweet was very controversial, drawing scathing comments from users, news publications and even major brands, including fast food competitor KFC.


Drawing reference to a well known sexist cliche, Burger King used Twitter’s thread feature to follow up this bold opening statement, calling out for more gender equality in the culinary field – a male-dominated industry where only 20% of chefs are female. They also continued to explain they were setting up an initiative to help female Burger King employees ‘pursue their culinary dreams’.

In a heightened social space of ‘cancel culture’ where every word you put on the internet can be ripped out of context and dug up years later, it really does beg the question – ‘Burger King, what did you honestly think was going to happen?’

Here are our thoughts on *that* dicey Burger King tweet and the ‘strategy’ or lack there-of behind it.

‘Very gutsy to do it in 2 tweets’ – Ryan Nair
So much backlash was inevitable. It’s a weird thing to riff off of IWD of all days – quotation marks would’ve really helped. The strategy is so bold too, I really can’t imagine being like ‘this has more pros than cons to it’ in an internal marketing meeting. Weird as well, because they normally kill it with their TOV – a big misstep on their part. I also don’t tend to click on tweets if I’m scrolling, and threads are quite hard to see instantly…’

‘I don’t like this’ – Chris Zajko
Hmmm, I’m not sure about this. I don’t really like the approach of saying something sexist, and then being “just kidding”. I don’t really see what it achieves that a less intentionally ‘controversial’ approach wouldn’t have.

‘No one seems to be enjoying it’ – Flossie Joseph
I can imagine a large amount of their target audience are the young teenage boys that most need to be educated, and I don’t think this tired rhetoric is going to make them think, rather it will make them think that view is still valid and funny. They should have rebranded as Burger Queens for the day.

‘Do better & be better BK’ – Niamh Moore
This could have been a really cool visual asset with the quote in quotation marks and some big X’s all over it, and THEN “if they want to, of course”. This is dead and isn’t going to do them any favours.

‘PR stunt gone wrong’ – Safiya Pomell
Well if their goal was attention, they will definitely get it…

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