Long Sleep the King

When Burger King dethroned their creepy plastic-headed mascot last summer, nary a tear was shed throughout the realm. Females cheered, moms rejoiced and marketers wondered, “What took them so long?”

Negative emotional responses to characters, products or experiences, are never good for brands regardless of the buzz factor. It’s a simple question to ask, ”How does that make them feel?” You don’t need to be psychologist to know “creepy” is not a good response.

But when Brazil’s 3G Capital wielded $4 billion to seize the kingdom in 2010, they discovered it’s not easy to kill off a company’s namesake. The company had learned to live with lagging far behind McDonalds but when Wendy’s captured second place in burger sales in 2011, revolution was on every royal subject’s lips.

The king isn’t the only fatality. The old company-owned store approach is gone while Burger King works to bolster its franchise model. And, Crispin Porter + Bogusky, the royal ad agency responsible for the unnerving version of the king, was overthrown.

Less than a year later, it’s probably safe to assume the dreadful king is dead and gone forever since Burger King just reported a 94 percent jump in fourth quarter income and a 3.7 percent increase in same store sales in the US and Canada. It seems those who asked, “What took them so long?” raised a very good question.

Read more about Burger King’s turnaround HERE.

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