The King Brags: My Whopper’s Not a Burger

Burger King Racy AdsBold Brand move in so many ways!

In a kale-craving, health-obsessed culture, Burger King makes a move to sell hot dogs, launched nationally on February 23rd. OK, 100% beef Oscar Mayer hot dogs, but dogs nonetheless. Then they hit the streets with supposedly “leaked internal training films” by Snoop Dogg and Charo (“reportedly” for their Hispanic customers?) And to top it all off, they select newspaper cover wraps in 6 major cities (NY, Chicago, DC, Philly, Houston and San Francisco) for their racy (but certainly engaging) ads touting the King’s whopper…!

Burger King Grilled Hot DogsHot Dogs = Baseball, Apple Pie, and Chevrolet, as the jingle goes. Americana Tradition. Snoop Dogg and Charo, uh, do not. And the King’s non-burger whopper tease? Well that’s just in another league all its own. (Although they bastardize their own Whopper® trademark in it.)

Is this an example of any press is good press? Or of a multi-level awareness drive?

I get why they turned to dogs. Certainly a popular American choice, with over $2.5 billion in grocery store sales. And parent 3G capital also happens to own Kraft Heinz, who owns Oscar Mayer. Nice vertical integration of the supply chain. So I would bet the launch could be a success. (2015 Test market results tell them yes, too.) But what are they trying to tell us their Brand stands for? Does the message simply depend on the medium you encounter? Maybe. Can’t see those smiling print ads on their drive-thru menu boards! (Though they’d sure make me smile.)

GWH Reality Check: Is this another example of BK (or any brand) grasping at branding straws, as they have done so often over the years? Does it matter to them if the dogs sell? Should it? We’d say yes.

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