Burger King is well known for making the headlines due to its edgy, often controversial, marketing campaigns. A lot of people feel Burger King managed to step it up a notch.
During the NCAA men’s basketball championship a few days ago, in which North Carolina defeated Michigan State, BK aired an ad featuring BK’s King rapping and singing to the tunes of Sir Mix-A-Lot’s “Baby Got Back”. While the lyrics were modified to read “I like square butts and I cannot lie” instead of the original “I like big butts and I cannot lie”, it still created enough controversy and there was enough smoke after the fire that organizations such as the CCFC (Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood) launched their own campaign to demand that Nickelodeon and Burger King immediately pull the new tv ad which focused on the 99-cent SpongeBob Kids Meal.
Burger King points out that while the kids meal is aimed at kids, it is also a “value-based offer” that appeals to adults who take their young ones to BK. They also claim that these advertising campaign aired during shows that target adults. According to Nielsen, the average NCAA tournament viewer is an 18 year old male, educated, married and with a higher than average income, and is 34% more likely to visit a fast food chain 10 times or more during a single week.
Some may call this an extremely clever campaign that aims exactly at the target audience BK had chosen. On the other hand, some parents may be outraged at the simple thought of having a Spongebob Squarepants character and The King directly involved in what some may view as an extremely sexual TV ad.
One thing is for sure: Burger King has created enough buzz on youtube, facebook, myspace and all sorts of social media outlets. Like it or not, BK is getting all sorts of free publicity, and the same people that complain about it, only help their promotion reach larger audiences.