The King Returns in Pitch’s Latest for Burger King

By Erik Oster 

The King is back.

Burger King’s plastic-faced creep of a monarch is making his return to broadcast today in a new 15-second spot created by Pitch. The spot, entitled “Smile” is a relatively simple affair, promoting the ten chicken nuggets for $1.49 deal that “will put a smile on anybody’s face.” With the delivery of that line, the camera pans up to show the King smiling while dipping his nuggets.

The ad makes Burger King the latest fast food player to resurrect a nostalgic character, following McDonald’s new Hamburglar and KFC rebooting Colonel Sanders, portrayed by Darrell Hammond in W+K’s first campaign for the brand. The King made a costly appearance last month in the ring with Floyd Mayweather, a questionable decision on the brand’s part (to say the least) given Mayweather’s history of domestic violence, but this is his first appearance on broadcast since the character stopped appearing in ads in February of 2011. Given the trend of fast food brands reviving old characters, we’ll be surprised if the King doesn’t pop up at least a few more times this year.

“The King has been breaking status quo for decades and has earned his space in pop culture,” Burger King chief marketing officer Eric Hirschhorn told AdFreak. “He conveys the confident and bold spirit of the Burger King brand, which you can see comes to life in everything we do.”

No word yet on a Sneak King sequel.


Client: Burger King
Agency: Pitch, Inc.
Chief Creative Officer: Xanthe Wells
Exec Design Director/Creative Director: Helena Skonieczny
ACD/Copywriter: Heather Parke
ACD/Art Director:  Kimberly Linn
Account Director: Audrey Jersin
Account Executive: Christina Gocoglu
Director of Broadcast: Julie Salik
Production Coordinator:  Ivana Banh
CFO/COO: Pej Sabat
Chief Strategy Officer: Sara Bamossy
Jr. Strategist: Lexi Whalen
President: Rachel Spiegelman
Editorial Company: Bicep Productions
Editor: Nate Connella
Asst. Editor: Gary Burns
Editorial Producer: Esther Gonzalez
Animation & VFX:  Terry Politis
Color:  Bob Festa, Company 3
Audio Post Company: Bicep Productions
Engineer: Luis Rosario
Production Company: Woodshop
Director: Trevor Shepard
Executive Producer:  Sam Swisher
Producer: Ursula Camack
Director of Photography:  Tom Lazaravich
Music:  Motive Music Sound
Composer:  Jeremy Adelman
Producer:  Samanta Balassa