Sources said last week that the burger chain has targeted two of the show's supporting player--Michael Richards ("Kramer") and Jason Alexander ("George")--as potential burger-slingers this fall in the ongoing campaign from D'Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles/N.Y. which mostly features MTV's Dan Cortese.
Executives at both actor's respective talent agencies said that they had been contacted by Burger King reps. A spokeswoman for BK said, "When we launched the campaign, we said that Dan was just one of the facilitators. As far as other personalities, stay tuned." BK's current campaign has come under fire from some segments of the burger chain's franchisee community because of Cortese. Since the new star of Route 66 was never meant to be the sole "VJ" under the BK TeeVee umbrella, BK has been hunting for new talent for months to appeal to different demographic groups and it has already utilized other on-air talent (such as Bob Uecker) for more targeted media buys. BK denied talking to the Seinfeld stars.
Once new talent comes on-board, BK is expected to scale back or eliminate Cortese who was originally brought in to appeal to the youth market. At presstime, sources said it was still unclear if Cortese's contract would be renewed this summer.
"Dan has not been universally popular with franchisees but he has not been universally unpopular either," said one source. "But that's what happens when you're dealing with 2,000 different franchisees."
Any new work from DMB&B will take place against the backdrop of major changes in BK's marketing strategy. Sources said that after lengthy meetings between the franchisees and BK corporate, the chain is making its "Dinner Basket" program optional for its franchisees and scrapping some planned summer promotions that caused an uprising in the franchisee community.
BK and its franchisees have now agreed on a new series of three different promotions this summer with rollout expected in a few weeks. "We do have new summer promotions and a full vote was taken amongst our franchisees," said a spokeswoman. "A strong majority supports them."
Copyright Adweek L.P. (1993)