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From the 15th Annual Shorty Awards

Burger King Redefines Royalty at the 2022 MTV VMAs

Finalist in Music & Dance, Branded Content


With 2022 being the year of liberation, Burger King’s goal was to embed themselves directly into music culture. The answer? The 2022 MTV Video Music Awards (VMAs). Paramount was tasked to grill up a culturally relevant moment for fans to savor on one of music’s biggest nights while making Burger King synonymous with music and culture.   

Entering year 3 of the partnership, Paramount turned up the heat and maximized the program by amplifying the brand’s new positioning of “royalty” to connect with their young, diverse consumers. Burger King’s modernized “royalty” celebrates inclusivity, individuality, and self-expression – empowering everyone to feel royal. 

To share the message of redefining royalty, Burger King formed the expression “Rule Your Beat” to showcase how greatness is within all of us and allows everyone to feel they can truly be who they are. The brand leveraged the power and high reach of the VMAs to launch this new strategy, new meaning, and new expression to connect with their music-loving audience.  

Strategy and Execution

Finding the right music talent for the campaign was the key ingredient to our successful program. We tapped into Grammy-nominated hip hop star, Latto, as our hero artist for a special :90 performance of her new single “Its Givin” to air during commercial time. Not only does she call herself Queen of the South, but her music is also about female empowerment and her lyrics embrace inner strength and confidence – a true embodiment of Burger King’s new royalty.  

On the night of the VMAs, we architected an impactful brand story that was seeded out throughout the fabric of the show starting with Latto walking the pre-show red carpet teasing a special collaboration with Burger King. At the top half of the show, we launched two :15 teasers that aired prior to Latto’s performance showing everyday people ruling their own kingdoms. Then the big launch of the special :90 performance aired revealing a special music video of Latto’s latest single inspiring everyone to rule their beat. The music video featured natural integrations of royal motifs and styling giving an organic nod to the brand. To cap of the night, Burger King honored music royalty with an inaugural award category sponsorship of the most coveted award of the night, Video of the Year.   

Riding on the pop culture wave, Latto leveraged the VMA platform and partnership to tease her upcoming single “Its Givin” and strategically launched her official music video of the song the day after the VMAs which drove significant engagement with Burger King’s :90 special performance. As a result of Latto launching her new single, celebrities took part in showing their individuality by posting content on TikTok and Instagram of themselves transforming from their “regular self” to their “boss/royal look”, similar to our Burger King hero creative further garnering more earned media of our content. 

To extend the breadth of the messaging, Burger King contributed a donation to Paramount’s Save the Music foundation to guarantee that a local school receives a music program – further promoting and igniting youth self-expression through music.  


With over 70 elements across platforms, Burger King’s brand impact research study on the 2022 VMA partnership reached consumers in an impactful way: 

The program garnered:


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