Burger King makes whopper of a change, drops 40-year slogan

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NEW YORK – Burger King is scrapping its 40-year-old “Have It Your Way” slogan in favor of the more personal “Be Your Way.”


The chain said the new tag line will roll out across its marketing in the United States, including a TV ad that began airing Monday night. The line made its first appearance in an online video last month.


Burger King said the new motto is intended to remind people that “they can and should live how they want anytime. It’s OK to not be perfect … Self expression is most important and it’s our differences that make us individuals instead of robots.”


It may seem odd for a fast-food company to champion individuality, but Burger King isn’t the only one trying to project a hip attitude to gain favor with customers. Since 2012, Taco Bell has been touting its “Live Mas” slogan, which means “live more” in Spanish. Executives at the Mexican food chain said they’ve made it a mantra in how they operate the company.


Starbucks and Chipotle have also gained popularity in part by cultivating decidedly noncorporate images.


Fernando Machado, Burger King’s senior vice president of global brand management, noted in an interview “Have It Your Way” focuses on only the transaction – the ability to customize a burger. By contrast, he said “Be Your Way” is about making a connection with a person’s greater lifestyle.


“We want to evolve from just being the functional side of things to having a much stronger emotional appeal,” said Machado, who joined the company in March.


The new slogan was developed with ad agency David, a unit of WPP.


Machado noted Burger King hasn’t been actively using the “Have It Your Way” slogan for some time in the United States. The Miami, Fla.-based company also will stop using its more recent “Taste Is King” motto.


It’s the latest change for Burger King, which is undergoing a series of marketing and menu changes under new management. The chain was bought by investment firm 3G Capital in late 2010, then taken public again in 2012. Soon after, 3G replaced the chain’s chief executive officer, and early this year, Axel Schwan was appointed as global chief marketing officer.


In the latest quarter, Burger King said sales at U.S. restaurants open at least a year edged up 0.1 percent. The company said that results were hurt by bad weather. Burger King Worldwide Inc. and rival McDonald’s Corp. have been struggling to boost domestic sales for more than a year.


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