Burger King’s breakfast push leaves a bad taste

I’ve always rated Burger King as something of an interesting brand when it comes to marketing. Think Subservient Chicken and the meat-scented cologne, Flame.  


You’ll then appreciate just how disappointed I was when I heard about its latest campaign in the UK where it has launched what it’s dubbed “the world’s first guilt free showercam”.

Very simply, it’s a website where young men can watch a different woman every morning taking a shower in their bikini.

Everyday, people can vote for the song and outfit the “shower babe” will wear the next day and you can even win a date with one of them.

The point of this campaign? To promote Burger King’s breakfast menu.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m all for selling sex to push a brand – when appropriate. When BK launched its “celebrity fragrance with a hint of flame grilled beef” in the US and UK, one of its ads featured a photo shopped chiseled-looking Piers Morgan, a Britain’s Got Talent judge and former Daily Mirror editor. It was cheeky and clever.

But this new digital campaign just doesn’t gel with me. And yes, I know I’m not the target audience, but I do feel that it goes so far in one direction that it risks alienating other consumer groups who, surprise surprise, probably don’t mind the odd bacon and egg muffin in the morning as well.

Hungry Jack’s in Australia, which is the franchise of the international Burger King Corporation, takes a different approach to the breakfast market. Yes, it has also targeted young, male consumers, but has so far resisted the temptation of using women in bikinis to flog its food.

It’s also interesting to see how McDonald’s has approached the breakfast market. Granted as the dominant player its customer base is already strong, but it takes a more inclusive rather exclusive approach. And quite frankly if I was a mass market brand, I know which ad strategy I’d be leaning more towards.

Camille Alarcon


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