Burger King’s new focus really shows how effective the King mascot had been. Tons of people disliked him, tons of stories have called him “creepy,” and in celebrating his demise, the fast food chain is getting a lot of press for the new “food-centric,” “healthy options” spin in its revamped advertising.
Usually, when people complain about some aspect of a company’s marketing, it gets a quick change. (See Summer’s Eve, Nivea, Gap, and countless others for examples.) In this case, Burger King generated a lot of attention by sticking with the spokes-king.
However, building buzz without building sales will only go so far.
Revenues have fallen and the company has new leadership, so changes had to be made.
Moreover, these changes are in line with talk from earlier this summer about the healthy turn the company is trying to take. This story from USA Today goes into detail about the “broader appeal” the company is trying to have, with a special focus on moms.
The story also says that going the healthy route could be the company’s best way to overtake McDonald’s. But the new marketing also promotes the company as another/better burger-and-fries joint with a few menu items that fulfill the new fast-food mandate to seem less fattening than it really is. It poses the question of whether that’s enough to stand out and beat the competition. Maybe a less-creepy King is in order.