Burger King Kills The King But Still Misses the Mark

Hail to the King … his death that is. Burger King has eased the pain on your eyes in dethroning the creepy, freakish and simply out of date character of the King. To think that King was targeting teenagers makes it all that much creepier and reason to tune them out and drive on by. Fast food targeting teens, when done properly, is very successful. You have to be them and most of all be hip and cool. No-teen would be caught dead at an establishment that was not seen as hip and cool. Uh, duh. The King was not hip, it was so out of date compared to the graphics these kids are exposed to online (I mean even Thomas is animated now talks)  and resembled a cheesy Halloween costume that a bank robber would wear.

Characters In Advertising

Characters in advertising, or as some would say, spokes people, are common. Some makes sense and some do not. A King for Burger King is not too far fetched however, it is a far cry from hold the pickle, hold the lettuce, special orders to not upset us … That was talking to the customer while at the same time smearing the golden arches of one size fits all. They were differentiating. The King was this character that was more geared towards the program that the spot would be aired on than the customers. They differentiated as the King did it all while other characters/spokes people set out to do one thing and do it well (not everyone is successful in this). Characters are supposed to represent a positive image of the brand (whether that be in humor or of a more serious tone) one that people can connect with and feel proud to patronize. Would the target market for a fast food chain rather wear a t-shirt of I’m Lovin’ It or of some creepy character in leggings?

Targeting In Advertising

Targeting is very important. We know this. Not everyone in your target is going to listen to you, remember you, buy from you, love your advertising, etc. But, they do know you are there. How many brands can say that? In fast food, we know all the chains. We know which ones we prefer, we know which ones are closer to us, we know which ones we regret eating the next day or the ones that are greasy enough to make us not regret what we did the night before. We as consumers know this so why on earth do they not? If we are their target, then how come they do not know us as much as they want us to know them? Puzzling I suppose, but, at the same time, we have to look at how broad advertising can be. It is multi-network/market/state and for products that are geared towards kids/teens, multi-generational. Targeting is not just pointing to a certain group based upon demographics and saying I want them. It has to dig deeper and really talk to them insomuch as understanding what is the trigger for them. Teens, cool; younger – it is fast food, it totally rocks. Parents – it is convenient and I can suffer through.

Life After the King

Life after the King might be as shakey as it was with the King. Burger King, as we know has a new CEO and also a new agency. We knew there would be an entirely new campaign as new agency has a fresh, new set of eyes and creative mind. They are targeting moms which strategically is probably a very smart move as the decision to purchase fast food for dinner is many times made by the mom. Valid however what about what happens after the decision to purchase fast food? Who decides WHERE to go? The kids and/or convenience.

Convenience. Convenience. Convenience.

Fast food is convenient. It is that moment where you are thinking about what to make for dinner and comparing that to the schedule of the day. School is starting, the kids will have practices, extra curricular activity meetings, homework, etc. The parent taxi is in full swing and the convenience of picking up fast food so that everyone gets fed quickly and before 9pm. We want to eat healthy but we know that fast food is not very healthy. The ingredients being fresh is not something we think about as if we did then we would want to know who their food supplier is, whose theirs is and where did the tomatoes originate from. How were they treated, how were they transported, how many days were they in a warehouse/factory, how many days were they on the truck and where are they stored once they are delivered. If we think about that, then we would never purchase fast food or would we never purchase many things from the grocery store. Touting fresh vegetables is not going to really change the image that Burger King has in the minds of consumers. The restaurants are out dated and many times not very clean. The visions of the fresh vegetables actually goes against this and makes consumers think of the restaurant cleanliness more.

Missing the Mark

We can sit here all day and talk about how Burger King missed the mark after watching this spot.

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Some may disagree while others will point out many other reasons they missed the mark. The good news for BK would be that we were talking about them, however, the bad news is that our discussion would bring us more reasons to go elsewhere. Maybe I am wrong but if you are targeting moms, convenience should be number 1. Is it assumed that with fast food it is convenient and brands to not need to advertise that? Possibly or can we have a situation here where we assume that everyone knows that it is convenient so we jump over that and create something that is supposed to tie into that?

Maybe too much of my own opinion/experience is coming into this here as fast food is not only competing with other fast food establishments, they are competing with so many other brands. It is faster to go home and make a tv dinner than it is to sit at the drive through at Burger King. It is not as convenient. With fast food, the food is already cooked when you get in the door whereas with the tv dinner,while it may be healthier, you have to put down all that is in your hands, go to the freezer, pull them out, open them up, put into the microwave, set the timer and wait for the beep while the kids are jumping off the walls waiting to eat. With Burger King, you seat them nicely at the table and throw their burger at them. I see no thoughts of freshness, healthiness or anything of the like coming to mind. I see convenience. Be your target and live their life. Freshness seems to be more targeting the those at work, who are trying to decide what is healthy in fast food to have for lunch – but again, this is just my opinion.

Does this new spot change meet the lifestyle of the target of moms? Does this make you want to run out the door right now and get a California Whopper?

  • Convenience is a definite priority when it comes to fast food, but I don’t think that BK is missing the point entirely. I would have to wonder, though, considering that spot, if they are still targeting kids, even if it’s via mom. See, I think they are targeting young adults who want to eat as though they have money but who, really, do not. Basically, that ad speaks very well to me, and I’d fit in that category.