Saturday, 5 October 2013

Is Burger King really now Fries King?

A few days ago, global burger giant Burger King announced that it had changed its name to Fries King "for a limited time" as a PR stunt to promote its new crinkle cut "Satisfries". While it certainly seems to have caused a stir on various social media sites, I can't help wonder if the campaign doesn't represent a terrible error of judgement by all involved...

The campaign was launched on BK's Facebook page where a new logo was revealed along with the news that Burger King was now Fries King. The new logo also appeared on T-shirts and fries cartons – and some branches of BK (FK?) in Miami, LA and Chicago even changed their signage to show the new FK logo. 

But the main reason people are taking to social media isn't to marvel at the BK's / FK's new Satisfries (that apparently have 30% less calories and 40% less fat than their old fries) but rather to ask each other "what the fuck is BK up to?" - and also "isn't this EXACTLY THE SAME IDEA Pizza Hut had in 2008 when it changed its name to Pasta Hut to promote its pasta dishes?"

On Wednesday, mentions of the brand (whatever it's now actually called) tripled on Twitter  which indicates that the campaign has done a good job of getting a lot of attention – but at what cost? By "changing its name" the company implies that its burgers are so unimportant in the scheme of things that its fries are the main draw. Which, to be perfectly fair, is a "brand truth" that BK has traditionally wanted their ad agencies NOT to draw attention to. So, despite being successful in a cynical "8 million twitter followers got involved in online chat about the campaign" kind of way, there's very possibly a painful bullet-in-the-foot thing going on here too for the brand.

To summarise - it's a plagiarised, confusing, short term stunt that probably does exactly what Burger King and its agencies hoped it would: make people remember it still exists in the current burger landscape – but without suggesting that its burgers are on a par with those served by any other burger joints in town. Shit, maybe the campaign is smarter than I initially thought.

1 comment:

Cheeseburgerboy said...

"Large fries please"
"You want a burger with that?"

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