Brand: Burger King
Link: Click Here (move your cursor to ‘Explore BK’ and click on ‘BK Cinema.’ The reviewed spot is titled ‘Press Conference’)
Target: Teenage Football Fans
A press conference featuring the Burger King (a man in a king costumer wearing a large plastic head mask) and his agent, Drew Rosenhaus. Rosenhaus is a real sports agent and was the basis for the movie “Jerry Maguire.” Drew fields reporters questions for the King, mostly centered around the King’s ‘big head’ and his reasons for being an NFL holdout. As it turns out, the King is not holding out because he has a big head, but because of the success of the double Whopper. Then the spot shows a visual of the double whopper which is replace by the new triple whopper with the voiceover, “This season the King is bringin’ it.” The spot ends with the Burger King ‘Have it Your Way’ logo.
The Burger King has become a recognizable icon and Burger King has shown some consistency in its advertising for period longer than a year which is a change from the company’s modus operandi for the past generation. The branding in this spot is excellent, both from the King himself and the product shots at the end. This spot is ownable and unlikely to be copied by competition.
This advertising blog is generally a great fan of consistency, except when it means stubbornly sticking to an advertising strategy that is not building the brand or increasing sales. Undoubtedly Burger King and ad agency Crispin Porter + Bogusky have more research than we do about the effects of this campaign, but one thing cannot be disputed – Burger King itself has performed abysmally since hiring Crispin Porter and initiating the Burger King Campaign. (See our analysis of the Crispin Porter relationship here and CNN Money’s take Burger King’s operating results here.) From a brand positioning standpoint, we dislike this campaign because it does not define the core user for Burger King, show how the brand uniquely meets consumer needs or establish a relevant identity for the franchise. The King character is all about attitude which we suspect is intended to appeal to teenage boys. The flaw with this strategy is that brand loyalty for this category is established earlier and BK is now alienating families with the King campaign (the King spots were among the most disliked advertising produced last year in the United States.) So while we normally support consistency, we feel it is time for a change at Burger King.
Branding Bottom Line:
Forget ‘stay the course.’ Burger King should cut and run.