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Consulting firms are encroaching on the advertising business. Here’s why Burger King’s top marketing exec doesn’t buy into the consulting firm hype

Fernando Machado, the global chief marketing officer of Burger King, doesn’t think consulting firms have much creative prowess, at least not yet.

“I don’t see the value [in working with them],” Machado told Business Insider in a recent interview.

He said Burger King’s roster of ad agencies have helped it use creativity to its advantage, he said.

Some of the fast-food chain’s most iconic campaigns would never have come to life if it weren’t for its agencies, said Machado.

But Fernando Machado, the global chief marketing officer of Burger King, doesn’t see the fast-food chain using consulting firms for their creative work.

“I don’t see the value [in working with them],” Machado told Business Insider in a recent interview. “I have not seen any groundbreaking creativity coming from there, and I have not seen creative people dying to go to work for a consulting firm, either.”

Burger King still employs them for larger business problems, like entering a new market or fixing the supply chain — tasks they’re traditionally known for, he said.

But Machado said agencies have helped Burger King develop creativity into a competitive advantage. In that way, Burger King is bucking the in-housing trend, and is not among the 78% of brands part of the Association of National Advertisers that reported having an in-house agency function in 2018.

“Burger King is not a brand with the largest budget,” he said. “I need ideas that will be so powerful that they act like dollar multipliers, and those creative ideas come from our agencies.”

Burger King has made a name for itself with award-winning, funny and self-deprecating campaigns. Some of its best-known recent campaigns — like “Subservient Chicken,” “Google Home for the Whopper,” “Whopper Detour,” and “#EatLikeAndy” — would never have come to life if it weren’t for its agency partners, said Machado.

“Whopper Detour,” for example, which trolled rival McDonald’s by using geo-fencing to send customers to its restaurants to collect discounts on Burger King’s Whopper burgers, was developed by FCB New York. “#EatLikeAndy,” which marked Burger King’s return to the Super Bowl after years, showing real-life documentary footage of Andy Warhol eating a Whopper, was developed by agency David Miami.

Some of Burger King’s key agency partners are WPP’s David, MullenLowe Boston, FCB New York, LOLA MullenLowe, Grabarz & Partners, and La Despensa in Spain. Their work for the fast-food chain spans platforms, PR, digital, and, of course, TV.

Fernando said he believes creatives produce their best work when they work on multiple brands and projects at the same time.

“I don’t think I can put the best creative people in a cage and force them to work just for my brand; I want them to work for several brands,” he said. “I want them to have diverse experiences, and work across different markets, different scenarios, different consumers, and different product categories.”

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