It’s not April 1st, and it’s not even funny, yet Burger King continues to confuse and irritate people with its “Fries King” gimmick. You’d think the company would get the message: “Enough is enough.”
Earlier this month Burger King rolled out its marketing plan to promote Satisfries, which are supposed to be healthier and yummier. The only problem is, half the internet knows it’s a joke, half doesn’t, and the majority of people who aren’t into social media also think it’s totally real. Many websites are chiming in, some calling the “gullible” outright stupid. But, really, who can blame the believers?
Even my husband, who is quite intelligent and often pokes at me for believing the mundane, thought Fries King was real. So did his mother. My husband, who is blind, merely heard the dozen-plus commercials that aired during Football games, and his mother doesn’t even use a computer. The commercial is short, to-the-point, and ends with the line, “New Satisfries from Fries King, formerly known as Burger King”. There’s no chuckle, and nothing visual to hint that it’s fake.
The “rebrand” campaign came from the ad agency Mother New York. And while fellow ad execs also find the campaign silly and misguided, it did help Burger King trend across Twitter and related sites. Unfortunately, many consumers are so irritated the restaurant chain just might have lost some customers.
The fact is, Burger King, like many other chains, is having trouble targeting consumers and connecting with them. As a result, too much attention is placed on the negative—like failed product launches and price increases. This latest tactic seems like a desperate attempt to get people talking about a product without thinking about how people actually react to having felt dumb for believing it was real. I should also note that trending topics don’t necessarily result in a flurry of new customers. I certainly haven’t seen any increase in the number of vehicles parked at my local BKs.
With that, I’ll point out one other mistake by Burger King’s marketing department. The latest post on the company’s Facebook page says that Fries King and Burger King should co-exist, then includes a photo of the two signs and a burger and fries. Those fries, though? They aren’t Satisfries…
What do you think? Is Burger King’s latest ploy spot-on? Or just a waste of time?
[UPDATE: My husband heard the above commercial only once during Sunday's night game, and it did not include the "formerly" line at the end.]