Friday, January 23, 2004

Return of the King? BK Ditches Ad Agency
Reading that Burger King dropped Y&R and hired Crispin Porter, its fifth ad agency in four years, it suddenly occurred to me that my journey to "adulthood" has been accompanied by a soundtrack of horrible Burger King commercials.
To wit:
- The deep-voiced, bearded King of Burgers, who could make cool shit happen by twisting some sort of magical ring.
- Those light-as-air collectible 'Star Wars' glasses
- My 'Great Muppet Caper' Happiness Hotel collectible glass (actually from McDonalds, but I remembered it as Burger King, so BK gets the credit)
- Vague memories of the phrase: "In a pita, or on a platter!" I think they were talking about salads.
- The vaunted "Where's Herb?" campaign. Even as a kid, you could smell the desperation.
- The word "Croiss'anwich."
And so on...

So, to all you wild and crazy marketing geniuses at Crispin Glover or whatever it's called, if you want to be around longer than 8 months, take my advice. Resist the urge to trot out that brilliantly simple (read: horribly lazy) strategy of focusing on the product. In case you hadn't noticed, you're dealing with carb-heavy whitebread buns and reconstituted cow slurry shaped into patty form, painted with grill stripes and sprayed with “flame broil” flavoring. Not to mention fries coated in a mystery batter which makes them taste hours old even when freshly made.

Let's resurrect that most regal of dead metaphors and bring back the King! Then we're going to Pizza Hut! And Dress Barn! And Banana Republic! And Record Explosion! Heeeee-awwwww!!!!

-- Here's the story in Ad Age
-- And here's how BK saved Modern English

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