A series of online and TV spots that feature hidden camera footage of actual Burger King customers being told that the chain no longer serves Whoppers after ordering one. The spots document the range of reactions from the upset customers.
This campaign works well because it borrows wisdom from one of the biggest marketing blunders of all time: Coca-Cola’s conversion to New Coke in 1985. Sergio Zyman, marketing chief at Coca-Cola at the time learned that although the flavor profile of the revised Coca-Cola formula was indeed preferred to the old version in blind taste tests, consumers had a strong emotional attachment to Coca-Cola. The surprising and unexpected consequence of the botched move to New Coke (which was eventually withdrawn from the market) was to boost share of Coca-Cola (renamed Coca-Cola Classic). Why? Because consumers threatened with losing something remember why they value it in the first place.
Crispin Porter & Bogusky, creators of “The King” (spots this advertising blog panned) has done an excellent job of translating this painful marketing lesson into an entertaining series of hidden-camera spots. The simple setup (tell a customer ordering a Whopper that Burger King no longer serves them, wait for the reaction, then deliver the burger after all) effectively makes the viewer focus on the emotional connection between BK customers and their whoppers.
A side benefit of this advertising is to reach customers that Burger King has been neglecting of late – adults and families. Although not the core audience for Burger King, these groups build loyalty among children who become the young men that drive fast food sales nationwide.
Although The King – in his trademark plastic head – is not nearly as distracting and alarming in these spots as in previous versions, he still is a polarizing figure who may not help the Burger King brand in the long run.
Branding Bottom Line:
Finally something from Crispin Porter we can sink our teeth into.