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New vision for Burger King advertising: less bros and foodporn, more family and fun ...


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Laura Stampler explains the transition in Burger King's marketing strategy:

While [ad agency] Mother believes that there's a place for product shots and viral humor, Malmstrom and Moulton have a different and more classic goal.

"Our objective is to establish Burger King as a fun, inviting and familial place and our creative will focus on a cast of characters that will allow the brand to showcase its great food in the most exciting and interesting new ways," the two wrote in an email. "Through this family of characters, weʼll truly establish Burger King as a ʻhomeʼ where 'Taste is King.'"

To create this familiar vibe, Mother is establishing a cast of characters that will have recurring roles throughout Burger King's campaign. They will be led by the patriarch John the Manager, who Mother introduced months ago in earlier roster work.

While the others have yet to really be individually introduced, its first batch of new ads touting BK's new breakfast offerings shows a random smattering of characters including a mom/cheerleader, a hipster in a hat, a security guard, a swaddled kangaroo carrying park ranger, someone with a tuba, and a blue Muppet.

"It's a puppet not a Muppet," Malmstrom insists, laughing. "It's a big difference legally."

Moulton said that this assortment of characters is meant to appeal to all demographics and "that found family includes puppets."

The campaign will unveil "almost like a sitcom," Malmstrom said, which allows customers to fall in love with each new character as he or she is introduced. And, "all of that stands to contextualize the food."

Mother also hinted at social media projects, including individualized Pinterest boards, etc.

Overall, I think this is a smart move to compete with McDonalds' "Food, Folks, and Fun".

Family and Fun are way more social media friendly (ESPECIALLY on Facebook and Pinterest) than bro-speak.

Compare and contrast with Taco Bell, which has gone more with a fiesta strategy but keeps the emotional valence that is conducive to social media campaigns.

Taco Bell, as a more niche chain, can afford to be edgier.

But ultimately, these commercials, like the social media campaigns that go along with them, must emotionally connect.

Connection is key.

BK's campaign reminds me a bit of USA Network's "Characters Welcome". 

Reminds me of that too!

There's a reason that kind of story resonates with people. Characters are relatable.

Nobody wants to relate to their food.  Fast food satisfies a primal instinct or a craving.  For the same reason people don't want to see movies about real life, people don't want to connect to reality about fast food.   Though, I think the set of characters they picked aren't anywhere close to reality either!

Right, it's not about making it real. It's about making it fun, friendly, inviting, and relatable.

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