Thursday, October 27, 2005

It's Only Creative If It Sells

This week's Ad Age outlines the current rift between Burger King and its franchisees over the King campaign. It seems the popular $340 million ads are doing what so many popular ads do: fail to sell.

Young people like the ads, and one of my students told me that the King is a fast-selling Halloween costume. But Whoppers are not moving so fast. Same store sales were up just 1.1% for third quarter, and many franchisees are predicting negative growth in the fourth quarter.

Advertising is an interesting business. You can get a hold on the collective conscious and still not persuade. Like the Taco Bell chihuahua of a few years back, the King made a dent on pop culture without moving product.

Perhaps most interesting is a parallel I see between political communication and burger ads. Teen-age males are Burger King's "base," or its most profitable demographic. Just as George W. Bush or John Kerry had to find a way to energize their bases without losing fringe voters, Burger King franchisees are worried that the "weird" King may alienate women, "who are increasingly embracing McDonald's." Once again the soccer mom proves to be a formidable demographic.


Blogger IUAngelini said...

Am I the only one who find the Burger King in these commercials creepy?

9:55 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree with James! He's definitely CREEPY! Gives me the willies every time I see him.

6:23 PM  
Anonymous SDB II said...

It is supposed to be Salesmanship sells - creativity is for making salesmanship newer, more appealing, more effective. But in the industry that makes commercials, creativity is what brings in the big bucks. Forget salesmanship, any dumb salesman can do that.

1:08 PM  

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