Innovation. Ideas. Insight.

Burger King – Narrative Dissonance

In DINU on April 29, 2008 at 3:02 pm

I’ve been planning on writing about Burger King for a little while. I really love the narrative they have created over the last couple of years. Sure it started with the legendary Subservient Chickent, but then they reintroduced the King character as a human with a giant, plastic King head and things got really interesting. They went in all kinds of clever directions: putting him in Xbox video games; having him date Brooke Burke; assuage pannicky customers who were in the midst of a Whopper Freakout; or even as the target of moms who felt threatened by one of his new offererings.

Hip, irreverant, edgy. That’s a clear departure from most other mainstream quick serve restaurants. So I was a little disappointed to hear about BK’s UK PR initiative: the £85 burger.

Burger King has worked so hard to create a Deeply Immersive Narrative Universe. People believe in the King character. It’s original, no one else has a “spokesman” like the King. But an expensive burger, how is that defensible? What if Pret a Manger or EAT comes out with a £90 sandwich? It’s not even a particularly original idea, as Selfridges apparently had a similarly priced sandwich not that long ago.

I’ve really come to trust Burger King from a marketing standpoint, so I hope that this announcement is merely a rouse and they’ll turn this into something extraordinary.


  1. BK should have integrated the lavish burger with the existing successful campaign – as a meal fit for the king.

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