Burger King is diving head-first into fast-food's bargain end this week with four new TV spots featuring a wisecracking talking menu and a hidden camera.
As part of a $50 million project unveiling an 11-item "value menu," Deutsch/LA in Marina del Rey, Calif., created spots using a "candid camera" technique. Each ad includes a drive-thru menu situated in an unlikely spot, with its voice supplied by Adam Carolla from Comedy Central's The Man Show.
The ads are built around the concept that the 99-cent menu is so good that it speaks for itself. As such, the spots show the menu on an elevator, at the zoo and on a golf course. In each, a voice from the menu strikes up a conversation, using mostly sarcastic comments from Carolla, who is never seen.
"He is the kind of guy who can insult you and you still laugh your ass off," said Mike Sheldon, agency evp and managing partner. Sheldon said introducing the value items is "the most important thing Burger King will do this year."
The client, which gave Deutsch the creative project in May without a review, is inclined to embrace more offbeat advertising than its competitors, Sheldon said. "If McDonald's is Ozzie and Harriet, then Burger King is the Osbournes," he said.
Chris Clouser, the client's evp and chief global marketing officer, said plans for a low-price menu have been in the works for almost a year. He said the talking-menu theme was one of "four or five" Deutsch submitted.
"Once we got the menu, we needed a campaign and an identity," said Clouser. "We like these spots with Adam. They are edgy and funny, and they really get across the great value these menus offer."
Clouser said the company will use at least another 10 spots with the concept and will extensively focus on the 99-cent menu in upcoming marketing efforts. "In the past, we may have confused the value-oriented customer by have 99-cent specials for a limited time, but this is a permanent position for us," he said.