Y&R Readies Intro for BK Low-Fat Fare

CHICAGO Responding to consumers’ desire for healthier fare at fast-food restaurants, Burger King has introduced a line of low-fat, grilled-chicken sandwiches, which are scheduled to begin appearing in restaurants on Wednesday.

The three sandwiches, Santa Fe Chicken, Savory Mustard Chicken and Smoky Barbecue, will be served on freshly baked baguettes. Ads from WPP Group’s Young & Rubicam, New York, will be product focused, asserting that the flavor “comes from fire grilling, not from fat.”

One spot scheduled to break on Sunday takes a poke at BK rival McDonald’s with the line, “Secret ingredients are for restaurants that have something to hide.” Another BK ad claims, “you’ll think you’ve dieted and gone to heaven.” The spots also emphasize that each sandwich has only 5 grams of fat.

The work will maintain the tagline “The fire’s ready,” introduced by Y&R in May. The client spent $330 million on ads last year, per TNS Media Intelligence/CMR. Spending for the low-fat sandwich push was not disclosed.

Other elements of the campaign include print ads in magazines such as Cooking Light, Fitness, Shape and Parenting, said Russ Klein, chief marketing officer of the Miami-based chain. Famed chef Rick Bayless will also appear in ads for the Santa Fe Chicken sandwich, Klein said.

Ads are intended “to be a break from the past and reflect the changing face of Burger King,” Klein said.

BK chief executive Brad Blum said the “number one next priority” for the company’s research and development will be entree-sized salads. He would not give a date for that product rollout.