August 20, 2005

Burger King: Have it your way?

It's not a good time to be a fast food giant. The days when customers just couldn't get enough of super-sizing and jumbo-sizing, and all-you-can-eat specials are largely gone. And worse still, the public's affection for burgers and chips seems to be on the wane, and fast food joints are having to work a little harder to have at least some healthy options on their menus.

The obvious response to this shift in the market, of course, is to do more marketing. Nothing stems a tide of disaffection like a vigourous round of commercials and catchphrases. Burger King's new catchphrase is Have it your way. Here's an extract from the blurb:-

What does it really mean to have it your way? It means a symphony of umm-ing and ahh-ing as you stand, eyes peeled to the menu. It means congratulating you on your originality, celebrating your individuality, because on the menu of life, you are "Today's Special".

Now, I am not a Marketing Weasel™ but this puzzles me. I'd always thought that eating in a fast food place was basically an admission of defeat as far as originality goes. Of all the food-related things you could choose to do – try a new restaurant, follow a new recipe, invent a new meal of your own – going to a fast food place whose USP is that no matter where you are, no matter which country in the world you're in, the food here will be exactly the same as it is in all the other branches, exactly the same as when you came last time, is essentially the least possible original choice you could make.

So doesn't that make building a marketing campaign around originality something of a misguided effort? It's as if Prada decided to play the value-for-money card, or Tesco started boasting about its exclusivity. It's just not playing to their strengths. Strange.

- One comment Not publicly viewable

  1. I remember a very similarslogan from years ago when the advert went something like this:
    Customer: I'll have the Chiken burger, oh wait, onions, no ummmmm
    BK server: No onions, no problem
    Customer: wow! I'm so happy!
    Slogan: You want it your way, at BK you got it!

    20 Aug 2005, 17:06

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