More than 2,000 years ago, Publous Vergilous Maro, a Roman poet known as Virgil, was onto something when he wrote, “Love conquers all.” Still holding true more than 20 centuries later, “Love conquers all” was the tagline in Burger King Finland’s marketing campaign to celebrate Helsinki Pride in Helsinki, Finland. The campaign featured a cartoon rendering of The Burger King, the fast-food chain’s mascot, embracing rival McDonald’s mascot, Ronald McDonald, with a kiss, the shape of their heads forming a heart. Created in partnership with Burger King Finland’s creative team, TBWAHelsinki and Virta Helsinki, the campaign included both print and outdoor advertisements throughout the city, and in local Burger King restaurants and other channels. Helsinki Pride is normally held during the last week of June in accordance with Pride Month but was delayed to September 7-13 due to coronavirus. This year, Burger King Finland was Helsinki Pride’s official partner.

The campaign followed just a few months after Burger King Mexico renamed itself “Burger Queer” during the month of June. Through a partnership with Rappi, a food-delivery service popular in Central and South America, the company displayed the new name across its social media channels, on burger and french fry boxes, and on rainbow, paper crowns given out in its restaurants. And let’s not forget in 2014 when Burger King gained national attention after introducing its limited-edition Proud Whopper during Pride Week in San Francisco. Burger King was a sponsor of the 44th annual San Francisco Pride Celebration & Parade, and the burgers were sold at a single location on San Francisco’s Market Street. The rainbow-colored burger wrappers came with the inscription, “We are all the same inside,” and some customers even kept them as collectibles.

Burger King is an active supporter of the LGBTQIA+ community, but being a supporter also gives the brand a way to better connect with its customers and draw members of diverse communities to purchase product, and to appeal to them by supporting issues that are important to them. The company also shows it’s truly dedicated to the cause by continuing its support of diversity internally—something that will likely draw a wider pool of prospective employees to join company. Last year, Restaurant Brands International—the company that owns Burger King, along with Popeyes and Tim Hortons—reported that Burger King Corp. achieved a score of 100 percent in the Corporate Equality Index (CEI) 2019 Report, published by the Human Rights Campaign Foundation. The report, which recognizes Best Places to Work for LGBTQ Inclusion, is the national benchmarking tool on corporate policies, practices and benefits relevant to employees who are members of the LGBTQIA+ community.


Danielle Renda is associate editor of PPB.