The Burger King’s King Mascot is supposed to lure young men into the stores to eat more burgers.
I am not a man. Still, I wonder if the men really resonate with the King? Seriously, guys, will you respect a weird bloke that puts on a creepy plastic mask who enjoy lurking outside you window or next to your bed? For sure, a woman will not find him at all desirable.
Using a mascot to represent your brand is great. Just look at the contribution of Mickey Mouse from Disneyland, Tony The Tiger from Kellogg’s Frosted Flakes Cereal, Great Root Bear from A & W Root Beer & Restaurants Burger and of course, Ronald McDonald from McDonald’s. But the King mascot of Burger King? While I have no evidence, I seriously doubt His Majesty has enriched the vault or the image of Burger King since 1955.
The King was first spotted on the sign at Burger King’s first store in Miami in 1955. During the last 55 years, the King has undergone various makeover including going animated in ads and running with a crew of other food-themed royalty like “Sir Shakes a Lot.” So far, he was most distinguished in the NFL broadcasts. His Majesty was digitally included in the real NFL footage and of course, he must be seen scoring touchdowns. The King even performed the “Lambeau Leap”. Real cool for a king eh?
Not so cool when Burger King announced the retirement of the King in August 2011. Reportedly, Burger King has been badly lagging behind its main competitor, McDonalds’, both in popularity and sales, as well as Subway and KFC for many years. Targeting just the men doesn’t work anymore because lots of them are out of jobs or tight with money during this economic tsunami period. So mums and kids are the new target audience. Immediately, this calls for a different ball game with the King being booted out unceremoniously. It is a wise move as I’m pretty certain mums and kids don’t like scary looking man bouncing up and down around them. Eeeek!
Anyway, let see how long the King will get to enjoy his retirement. This is not the first time the King has gone for a holiday. In 1989, Burger King got him to take a vacation so that the “Kids Club Gang” can have the playing field. The King returned in triumph in 2004 when the company hired Crispin Porter + Bogusky, known for its edgy work, in 2003. CP+B dolled up the King and gave Burger King an edgy campaign, just look at the “Wake Up With the King” TVC. Sadly, it just didn’t help capture market share from it’s competitors. Still, Burger King keeps its faith in it’s King, until now.
Over the years, we have not seen Ronald McDonald touting burgers nor have we seen Energizer Bunny making lots public appearance. Perhaps , these companies are just letting their products do the talking. And Burger King decides to take a leaf from there. They intend to let the freshness of their products do justice. That’s good. I always prefer Burger King’s burgers to McDonald’s, though I wouldn’t say the same of the french fries. Anyway, I doubt Burger King, and its customers, will miss the King very much. I won’t at all. However, I’m eagerly looking forward to see what the new agency, McGarry Bowen, come up for Burger King in 2011 and beyond.