Great Activations: Burger King – The King & Mickey Combo


The alliance between Burger King and Mickey S.R.L. in Paraguay exemplifies the intersection of legal strategy and marketing innovation.

In the landscape of corporate battles, few skirmishes stand out quite like the clash between Paraguay’s underdog, Mickey S.R.L., and the entertainment behemoth, Disney. Nestled within this legal saga lies a fascinating tale of trademark intricacies, strategic manoeuvres, and an unexpected alliance with Burger King that transformed into a marketing coup.

Mickey SRL Vs Disney

The story begins with Mickey S.R.L., a Paraguayan company that boldly adopted the iconic image of Mickey Mouse as its logo for food products like spices and cookies. However, their audacious branding move didn’t go unnoticed by Disney, which in 1993, during the post-dictatorship era of Paraguay, launched a copyright infringement lawsuit against Mickey S.R.L.

Despite facing off against a corporate titan, Mickey S.R.L. emerged victorious. The Paraguayan courts, including the Supreme Court, ruled in their favour, granting them the right to continue using the Mickey Mouse image on their products. The key to their legal triumph lay in a trademark technicality: while Disney typically portrays Mickey Mouse head-on, Mickey S.R.L. had registered their trademark for the image of Mickey in profile, a distinction that proved pivotal.

Disney’s oversight in not registering a trademark for the profile image provided Mickey S.R.L. with a legal loophole through which they defended their brand. However, this victory came with limitations; Mickey S.R.L.’s trademark was exclusively registered for food products, leaving Disney free to use the Mickey Mouse character in Paraguay for other ventures like movies and theme parks.

The victory of Mickey S.R.L. against Disney serves as a testament to the resilience of a small company against a corporate giant. However, their triumph wasn’t merely confined to legal battles; it also paved the way for a unique marketing collaboration with Burger King.

Burger King And Mickey SRL

Burger King, ever the savvy marketer, recognized an opportunity in the legal tussle between the local Mickey brand and Disney. In a stroke of strategic brilliance, Burger King launched “The King and Mickey Combo,” a special meal offering that capitalized on the legal distinction of the local Mickey brand.

The key to this marketing coup lay in the collaboration between Burger King and Mickey S.R.L. By partnering with the legitimate Mickey brand for food products, Burger King was able to incorporate the name “Mickey” into their combo meal without infringing on Disney’s copyright. This clever manoeuvre allowed Burger King to sidestep any potential copyright fees associated with Disney’s intellectual property.

The King And Mickey Combo

The combo meal itself was a tantalizing offering, comprising a classic Burger King burger, fries, and a drink, accompanied by a free panettone—a beloved local Christmas dessert. By aligning the campaign with the holiday season, Burger King added a festive twist that resonated with Paraguayan consumers.

The success of “The King and Mickey Combo” campaign underscored the power of creative marketing and strategic partnerships. Burger King effectively leveraged the legal standing of the local Mickey brand to craft a memorable and impactful campaign that resonated with consumers.

This collaboration between McCann Peru and Burger King in Paraguay exemplifies the synergy between creative vision and brand strategy, resulting in a marketing triumph that captured the imagination of consumers and industry observers alike.

In conclusion, the alliance between Burger King and Mickey S.R.L. in Paraguay exemplifies the intersection of legal strategy and marketing innovation. Through strategic collaboration and creative execution, Burger King transformed a legal quirk into a marketing coup, cementing its status as a master of brand storytelling and consumer engagement.

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