The Burger King Comeback

Okay, I'll admit it. I've been swayed by the new Burger King ads. Despite my rational mind knowing exactly what they are doing, my perception of Burger King has still changed. This article explains what is going on.

Selling customization to consumers in a driving point in Klein's campaign. He wants BK customers to realize the value of customization and said that getting what one wants is "a powerful motivator across generations." He's seen a trend in a "huge exercising of empowerment," listing customized running shoes and Starbuck's personalized drinks as examples.

Burger King's latest advertising agency, Crispin Porter + Bogusky, discovered that "the marketplace is increasingly cynical and detached," said Klein. So BK has embarked on a ground-up branding campaign to get personal with the customer.

The first wave of ads has already hit TV screens. A group of young office workers, a cross between yuppies and slackers, stand around while a coworker hands out lunches from a big Burger King bag. Testing their rights to "have it their way," they compete to see who can come up with the most outlandish and innovative sandwich, enjoy tasty BK snacks, and chat each other up. The ads have eighteen- to twenty-four-year-olds written all over them. And, they're funny.

Something else surprising from the article – BK hired a cultural anthropologist to "determine their place in the fast food ecosystem." They determined the only area left for them to associate with was adolescence. Personally, I think it was a good idea for them to stake out their own territory than to try to steal the cultural association of McDonalds or Wendys. The new ads targeted to adolescence (and GenXers) seem to be working. Everyone is talking about them. Will that translate into more sales? We may never know since BK went private. But let me say that I rarely eat at burger places, yet find myself thinking about the ads when I drive by a Burger King. Maybe sooner or later I'll pop in.

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