Fernando Machado (US)

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Global CMO, Burger King

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Cited as one of the most creative and original marketers working in consumer brands today, Fernando considers where businesses sit in a world of trust, values, ethics and media saturation. Acclaimed for his original campaigns that often combine creativity with social and political issues, he looks at strategy, narratives, and how to embody company values in a brand.


Global marketer and transformational brand strategist Fernando Machado is the Global Chief Marketing Officer at Restaurant Brands International, the home of Burger King as well as Popeyes and Tim Hortons. Having directed a number of award-winning brand strategies and campaigns, Fernando focuses on the importance of embedding culture, values and purpose into every aspects of a brand.

Fernando has been praised for his work in placing the Burger King brand into some of the hottest social and political issues of the moment, from using LGBT rainbow packaging in restaurants to viral campaigns looking at bullying and net neutrality. His remit with all of the brands he steers is to infuse purpose (including sustainability), improve products, modernise design, and inspire around digital and technology.

Prior to joining Burger King, Fernando spent two decades at Unilever, and led Dove’s groundbreaking ‘Real Beauty Sketches’ campaign. The campaign was not just commercially successful, but acclaimed for its approach to women’s self-image.

In his talks, Fernando considers the intersection between values, brand and consumers. In analysing successful brand strategies, he discusses the need for leaders to stay at the forefront of culture and embody purpose into their trademark. He also touches on the importance of engaging with the political and cultural landscape in order to build a relationship of trust and understanding with customers. Fernando argues that advertising needs to encompass taking risks, using narratives, being involved in history, and cultivating both passion and discomfort into a brand to generate brand loyalty. Moreover, Fernando highlights that strategic marketing is all about pushing creative boundaries, embracing change and pioneering modern designs in order to drive business growth and innovation. He considers the challenges present in the mediascape and conveys the importance of encompassing diversity, individuality, sustainability and ethics into a company.

Since heading Burger King’s branding, the company has won acclaim and multiple awards for its creative advertising and marketing campaigns, including numerous Cannes Lions and Grand Prizes. Fernando himself has been named Creative Marketer of the Year, top 100 Most Creative Minds in Business by Forbes, and is the only person to win Adweek’s Grand Brand Genius title twice.  

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