In 2012 Burger King had an advertising budget of $320 million. In the span of about two years I was able to work with agency McGarryBowen, Mother, Pitch and Oglivy/David producing several ads for the fast food giant. Burger King brought in a whopping $8.4 billion in sales during that year.
A big problem in pre-production was the use of 3D characters and photos of the food. We wanted to make sure the food looked as realistic as possible, but this slowed down the work because masks had to be drawn around the fingers of each character to reveal a photo of food below. Multiply this with a family of four all holding something different and each frame became a time consuming nightmare for my team.
My solution was to have the 3D animators keep the character’s fingers closer together. This was the same solution I remember hearing for the Disney film Who Framed Roger Rabbit. The film’s star Bob Hoskins said, “I’ve just cost ‘em a million dollars, because in every single frame they’ve got to paint in between my fingers. So I had to be sure my fingers were shut.” This helped speed up the process and we eventually created 3D photo-realistic food models to remove the problem entirely.
Over the years, I worked on campaigns that aimed to brand Burger King as a place for the whole family- highlighting the quality of its product, new menu items, and updated, comfortable facilities. Some of my personal favorite commercials are the celebrity campaigns with soccer star David Beckham, Jay Leno, Salma Hayek and Sofia Vergara. Each one of these campaigns helped show how Burger King could solve a problem such as, “How do we get barbeque on a rainy day?”