Dream about Burger King all night on your breakfast-menu pillow

By Noreen O'Leary on Wed Oct 6 2010

BK-pillow

Well, if you can't sell Whoppers, why not try bed linens? In a new promotion, Burger King is peddling pillow cases at BKPillow.com that tout the chain's new breakfast menu and use images of offerings like the Ciabatta Club Sandwich. BK posted a nearly 4 percent decline in North American sales in fiscal 2010 and is having a tougher time than its fast-food competitors in the recession. (The company is in the process of being sold to a hedge fund backed by Brazilian investors.) Already this week, BK has sold 749 of the pillowcases at $5.99 a shot on eBay. While we consider this the stuff of nightmares, for those of you not totally creeped out by the "Wake up with the King" ads, you can cuddle up to the King's face featured on the pillow's opposite side.

Americans are a joke in Burger King's Middle East commercials

Posted on Mon Mar 29 2010

Stupid Americans are the focus of a series of Burger King ads running in the Middle East. The premise is that two Arab men are having a BK meal with a pair of American girls who really aren't very bright, or at least aren't all that worldly. "So, you're from the Middle East. Isn't that like the capital of Arabia or something?" one of them asks. "Isn't that, like, the desert or something?" Then the camera goes inside the dense woman's head to show how her views of life in the region are based on Star Wars movies and maybe Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves. "You all must be loaded!" she says at another point, to which one of the men replies, "We have oil wells in the, uh, backyard." To be sure, the Americans are presented as thick, but nice, sort of like the American couple in Slumdog Millionaire. Still, it's not clear how this creative will go down with BK's stalwart customers back home. I guess we'll find out. According to the story linked above, the ads were done by Dubai-based Tonic Communications for the Gulf region's Burger King franchise holder, Riyadh-based Olayan Group, a Saudi-owned international conglomerate.

—Posted by Todd Wasserman

Burger King's WhopperFace puts your face on a burger wrapper

Posted on Mon Mar 15 2010

Have you ever gotten a Whopper, looked at the wrapper and thought, "I wonder how my face would look on this"? Probably not, but the people in this purported hidden-camera video for Burger King seem pretty tickled to see their portraits embossed on burger diapers. Ogilvy Brazil apparently took photos of patrons while they were in line, then printed the portrait wrappers to reinforce the "Have it your way" positioning. The "WhopperFace" idea could be seen as an invasion of privacy, but then, Burger King customers have been through a lot lately, including being encouraged to shed Facebook friends in exchange for food and being misinformed about the availability of their beloved Whopper. On a positive note, forcing repeat customers to see their bloated, pimply faces might be a hell of a wakeup call as well. Via The Denver Egotist.

—Posted by Todd Wasserman

Burger King's King is finally recognized as being a crazy bastard

Posted on Mon Mar 15 2010

Discussing Burger King's King mascot, Adam Carolla once noted that actors in the ads reacted strangely to the appearance of the King in their homes. Instead of being nonchalant, Carolla suggested, they should yell something along the lines of: "Who is this madman? Get him out of my house!" So, give Crispin Porter + Bogusky points for verisimilitude in this latest BK ad: At least here the King evokes something of a normal reaction. "Stop that King. He's crazy!" yells one man, as the King, shown in an office setting, busts a window, starts a fire and pushes an employee out the way. The King really is crazy here. He jumps off a building and lands (safely) in a dumpster. But the King also means well. He presents another worker with a fresh Steakhouse XT burger just before the men in white suits tackle him. This spot isn't likely to prompt me to try the new offering, but I do applaud this new story line. In future installments, how about the King in a straightjacket? Or maybe give him the Hannibal Lecter treatment. After all, that burger would probably go well with fava beans and a nice Chianti.

—Posted by Todd Wasserman

Burger King has super-sized nerve calling Jessica Simpson fat

Posted on Tue Oct 13 2009

Fat jokes about a Hollywood starlet who probably weighs 110 pounds soaking wet? Riotous! They're the heart (and soullessness) of an animated skit that aired on Fox NFL Sunday that nominally made fun of the Dallas Cowboys and quarterback Tony Romo, but mostly just jabbed at his ex-girlfriend, Jessica Simpson, saying she "blew up bigger than Flozell Adams" and could stand in as a defensive tackle for the team. The interstitial, created by the network, was sponsored by Burger King—yes, the junk-food purveyors who've shown just how sensitive they are to women in their marketing. (See the booty-shakin' "Baby Got Back" ads from earlier this year, thanks to agency Crispin Porter + Bogusky). Not only did the gags in the cartoon seem like they'd escaped from a decades-old stand-up routine ("My wife is soooo fat…"), but they're not even timely in terms of current events. Romo and Simpson broke up months ago, Fox. Read your People magazine. And BK: You might want to watch those spots before slapping your logo on them.

—Posted by T.L. Stanley

BK burger will sing you a love song before you devour it

Posted on Mon Jul 20 2009

Looks like somebody had a few Funky Cold Medinas before he made this commercial. In this spot for Burger King’s Steakhouse Burger with A.1. sauce, the giant-headed King has moved on from creepily waking people with breakfast sandwiches and struts onto the stage of “America Can Sing,” an American Idol-type show, carrying a burger. He makes the beef sing by dousing it with A.1. steak sauce. Surprisingly, the meat is a woman and has some talent. Even more surprising is the discovery that Tone Loc is still around. He appears in this ad making incredulous faces at the King and then bows to the burger upon hearing her marvelous singing voice. The ad was made in conjunction with a “Sing for Your Beef” contest, in which people can win steaks by performing the “best A.1. love song for beef.” I can already hear America’s arteries clogging.

—Posted by Elana Glowatz

Whopper Jr. gets poked and prodded in shopping-network spots

Posted on Fri Jun 5 2009

Burger King lovers will be happy to hear, via these three new commercials, that their beloved juicy Whopper Jr. is now selling for a buck (what isn't, these days?) and that he's bigger than ever. So stuffed, in fact, that he can't even fit through the door. We say "he" because the burger in the spots by Crispin Porter + Bogusky is actually a young fellow dressed up as a burger. The good news is that the ladies on the fake shopping channel think he's so darn hot. "Pardon me for looking," says one, "but you have some wonderful things hanging out back here." Hmm ... now would that be lettuce?

—Posted by Elaine Wong

Waking up with the King is no longer such a pleasant experience

Posted on Fri May 29 2009

Say, is that Bam terrorizing his poor dad in the middle of the night with yet another marginally funny and completely humiliating Jackass stunt? No, it's the King waking up some poor unsuspecting guy who may never sleep another wink after seeing that plastic freak standing over his bed. (The commercial, one of three new ambush-style spots, touts Burger King's late-night menu). If you ask me, the whole "gotcha" ad genre is wearing pretty thin. Don't look now, you've been punked! So is the grainy, hand-held shot-by-amateurs (not a slick, award-winning ad agency) ruse. Must mean I'm not the demo—young, male fast-food "heavy users" think this kind of prank video is an absolute gut buster, I'm told. It's not the first time The King invaded someone's bedroom space, and it probably won't be the last. Lock your doors, fans.

—Posted by T.L. Stanley

Burger King finds the actors for live-action 'Aqua Teen' episode

Posted on Mon May 4 2009

DaveLongJr_Carl copy

Since it's an animated TV show that stars talking pieces of fast food, it makes sense that Adult Swim's Aqua Teen Hunger Force would turn to Burger King for help on its first-ever live-action episode. Just don't expect Meatwad to morph into a Whopper. Burger King ran an online contest to find the human equivalent of the neighbor character Carl, described in the sweepstakes as someone who's "sweaty, hairy, lewd, fashion-challenged, horny, nasty and oftentimes annoying." (Sounds like most people in my hood.) The "winner" emerged from more than 100 submitted videos, and it's a guy named Dave Long Jr. (above) from Edensburg, Pa., who's obviously embracing his inner (and outer) Carl. The dead ringer look-alikes don't stop there, with Grammy-winning rapper T-Pain (below) standing in as Frylock, the levitating goateed box o' fries. The episode airs May 31, with Burger King as the presenting sponsor.

—Posted by T.L. Stanley

T-Pain_Frylock copy

Outcry just beginning over BK's square-butts ad for kids' meals

Posted on Tue Apr 7 2009

The Campaign for Commercial-Free Childhood would like to kick the King's butt now that the Burger King icon is selling kids' meals with an ad (and longer music video, shown here) that celebrates women's booties. In the ad, by Crispin Porter + Bogusky, which aired during the NCAA men's basketball championship and other programming on Monday night, the King is shown singing a remix of Sir Mix-A-Lot's 1990 hit "Baby Got Back" as women in short skirts shake their thangs. The joke is that the women have square butts (one even added a phone book to enlarge her bedonkadonk) in homage to SpongeBob SquarePants, the Nickelodeon character that BK joined forces with for a kids'-meal offer. The CCFC was not amused and plans to start a letter-writing campaign. "It's bad enough when companies use a beloved media character like SpongeBob to promote junk food to children, but it's utterly reprehensible when that character simultaneously promotes objectified, sexualized images of women," said CCFC director Susan Linn in a statement. Linn's got a point. It seems like a boneheaded move by SpongeBob, unless he's trying to put to rest the long-simmering rumors that he's gay.

—Posted by Todd Wasserman


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