[June 1 Update: McGarryBowen wins Burger King's U.S. ad account. Read here.]
The King is dead; long live the new Burger King.
The No. 2 burger chain is changing its menu, its look, its marketing and its attitude, according to a 5/30 article by Elaine Walker in the Miami Herald. The creepy King character is going on an overdue “extended vacation,” dismissed by the chain’s 3G Capital ownership, as it shifts from sophomoric marketing narrowly targeted to teen boys to courting a broader clientele that even includes women.
On the menu side, Burger King will turn itself into…McDonald’s. The Herald story story says Burger King plans to add a number of new items that mimic Big Mac’s menu offerings. These include an Asian chicken salad with baby edamame, red cabbage and sesame lime vinaigrette; oatmeal with dried fruit and maple sugar, and mango and mixed-berry smoothies. Sound familiar?
Joining the signature Whopper will be “a new premium homestyle burger on a brioche bun with thick-cut bacon, romaine lettuce and a new spicy pepper grill sauce,” the Herald reports. And of course there’s chicken: watch for a chicken BLT wrap with bacon and “country Dijon” mustard. Dollar-menu items will be deemphasized.
“As we develop new products we’re focusing on best in class and quality,” Jonathan Muhtar, vice president of global innovation, told the Walker and the Herald. “In the past there were compromises made with our food for ease of operation and to take costs out of the product. Food quality and taste has to come first. Consumers come to Burger King because we’ve traditionally stood out for having great tasting food.’’
Burger King also has stood out for its jarring, dated décor and color palette. The earth tones will be replaced by a new interior décor in red and black. The new exterior design is notable for a black tower replacing the current mansard roof. The phrase “Home of the Whopper” will be featured on exterior signage and canopies will cover drive-thrus, the newspaper reports.
Burger King is expected to name a new U.S. creative agency to replace former ad agency Crispin, Porter + Bogusky in the next few weeks. AdAge previously reported that the U.S. finalists are Dentsu’s McGarryBowen, Publicis Groupe’s Saatchi & Saatchi, Interpublic Group’s McCann Erickson and WPP Group’s CHI & Partners. New agencies also will be named in the UK, continental Europe and Asia.
Ξ So, while Burger King sets about remaking itself as a McDonald’s clone, what’s Big Mac up to? It’s continuing to globalize its menu. A few examples:
● In most European markets, McDonald’s is selling a trio of beef and chicken McWraps, but only Hungary has a Greek-style Tzaziki McWrap. This has pork, feta cheese, cucumber, lettuce, bell pepper, red onion and tzatziki sauce wrapped in tortilla.
● In the UK, McDonald’s now-annual “Great Tastes of America” menu promotion is ongoing. This week’s special is the Texas Grande: a beef patty topped with pepperoni (Texas?), Mexican salsa, cheese sauce, pepper cheese and lettuce on a cheese-topped bun.