My new column is live in The Drum:
The Burger King? A look at the maverick brand’s sales during Fernando Machado’s CMO reign
On one hand, Burger King’s creative campaigns during the tenure of former CMO Fernando Machado received much acclaim, including top spot in the World Creative Rankings. On the other, some pundits dismissed the headline-making ads as mere stunts that did little to help the fast-food chain’s bottom line. So, who was right? Columnist Samuel Scott investigates.
Burger King was number two, so Fernando Machado tried harder. But did the former chief marketing officer succeed? For this column, I compiled various sets of performance data and then interviewed Machado, who this week took up the marketing reins at Activision, for his thoughts.
Machado joined Burger King as head of brand marketing in March 2014. He became chief marketing officer of the chain in October 2017 and then chief marketing officer of parent company RBI in January 2020.
To examine the effects of his campaigns, we first need to look at comparable sales in the US. (For simplicity, I mainly analysed only that home country for this column. Results elsewhere may be different.)
The term refers to the change in same-restaurant sales in one period from the same prior-year period. Fluctuations in comparable sales are driven by changes in the numbers of customers and the sizes of the average check.
Many “non-GAAP” financial metrics are full of crap. (I’m looking at you, WeWork’s “community-adjusted EBITDA” and Uber’s “adjusted EBITDA.”) But comparable sales is an exception.
In the retail, restaurant and fast-food industries, the measure is usually more useful to examine than overall top-line revenue because the numbers directly reflect on company initiatives as well as consumer and economic trends.