The Whopper of All Comebacks

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While conducting my weekly hunting of advertiser innovators and inspirations, I was shocked to see that Burger King reigned supreme when it came to online brand, strong social media, user created videos, and overall silliness. When the company first launched the creepy dude in a King costume character awhile back, I certainly had my doubts.  It seemed like a desperate plea to become the next Jack in the Box. We already have one of those and unless Burger King was going to fill my drunken stomach after a night of margaritas for under $5 bucks while producing clever and iconic advertisements, Jack was still ruled my fast food world and I wasn’t biting.

But like Cher and Mickey Rourke before him, The King has staged a major comeback. This being said I cannot say that the Whopper now tastes like Kobe beef, but I can tell you that their online marketing rocks. Take the hilarious and clever, $1 Dollar Talent Show for example. Burger king has taken our obsession with viral videos and given it a touch of the Gong Show by asking users to submit 30 second clips in which they showcase a talent. Videos will be selected and added to BK’s web banner advertisements and on their website while users can vote for their fav videos by awarding them a virtual penny. One penny at a time, the wannabe video stars can inch closer to winning any item from Burger King’s Dollar Menu. Clearly, this campaign is not actually about giving away amazing prizes. The goal here is to create some buzz, have some fun, and give fame-seekers their fifteen minutes (or 30 seconds) of glory. Mostly, the contest is just plain goofy and the simplicity of that is refreshing.

That King has also been up to some crafty tricks with online ad placement. Burger King has now launched advertisements for it’s double cheeseburger on Digg that pop up when a search on the website produces empty results. The clever copy encourages you to find a double cheeseburger since you couldn’t find what you were looking for. It’s a first in online advertising and something i think we are bound to see a lot of in the future.

Now about that King costume guy. I am still not a huge fan. I’ve never loved shiny human looking masks. I suppose it’s meant to be funny and absurd. I just don’t enjoy it. And that’s just fine by Burger King. The BK website has adjustable sliders to filter what you want to see. One lever for fun content, one for food and the last for, you guessed it, King. So if I chose to do so, I could turn the King content way down. It’s all part of Burger King’s “Have it Your Way” concept. My way just happens to not have creepy dudes in masks.

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