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Posts Tagged ‘Burger King’

Sadface. Burger King’s ‘Hands-free Whopper’ Not Really a Thing

Well, it looks like those of you with lofty dreams of chowing down on a Burger King Whopper while keeping both hands free to paint a masterpiece or build a jet engine will have to keep on dreaming.

A recent video released by Burger King in Puerto Rico in celebration its 50th anniversary featured customers getting creative with their new-found hands-freedom by playing music, giving tattoos, and performing other feats of manual dexterity all while eating a whopper.

But multitasking burger eaters everywhere have had their hopes dashed by Burger King’s announcement that “The video featuring a ‘hands-free’ Whopper Sandwich holder was produced by an agency in Puerto Rico to celebrate the brand and the iconic Whopper Sandwich in a humorous way. However, the product depicted in the spot was not produced, or distributed to guests as some reports indicate.”

While it seems burger-eaters will still have to take lunch breaks like the rest of us, we suppose no one is stopping a particularly driven engineer from creating a burger-holding apparatus of their own…someone get on this.

Chick-fil-A Gets Cocky about Its Kitchens

Transparency is PR gold. Transparency requires courage, honesty and humility. The public loves transparency because the public is comprised of adults who understand the inevitability of bad news and the value taking responsibility. Without transparency nothing moves forward.

So adding transparency to the customer experience is a wise PR strategy for Chick-fil-A particularly after a recent spate of controversy over the gay marriage issue. As an overture to the public, Chick-fil-A is offering customers instant behind-the-counter tours of any of its 1,700 franchises at any time. So if you have run out of ideas about where to take your next date, you’re in luck. Chick-fil-A has the utmost confidence you’ll be impressed by its dedication to clean facilities and healthy ingredients.

This PR stunt is designed to have people like us write blog posts and create buzz drawing attention to Chick-fil-A’s newest menu items, the Grilled Chicken Cool Wrap and updated salads. (So done and done. Well played Chick-fil-A.) However, Chick-fil-A may be overestimating the public’s interest in witnessing how their food is made. This isn’t foie gras. It’s fast food. Most people wouldn’t choose to work in a Chick-fil-A kitchen for money let alone spend their free time in one. Seriously, Chick-fil-A?

The public understands that our culture is changing and fast food chains need to keep up with evolving palates. Chick-fil-A has been on the winning arc of that trend, whereas burger brands such as McDonald’s and Burger King have struggled to adjust. Nevertheless, just as the public doesn’t want to see chickens slaughtered on premise as a guarantee of freshness, we really don’t want to see chicken sandwiches made either. Read more

Burger King’s Turkey Sandwich Plays Chicken with Brand Identity

PR professionals are inherently interested in fast food brands because the trajectory of public sentiment has trended toward healthier eating habits. This puts fast food brands in an obvious pickle. As we all know, fast food chains are perceived as being anything but healthy.

So what are companies like McDonald’s, Taco Bell and Burger King to do as the human species shifts away from greasy burgers and buckets of soda? Well, offering healthier choices is the logical place to start. And Burger King is doing just that: the company just announced the Spring 2013 debut of its new turkey burger, which will retail for $3.99. This new offering is the latest in a not-so-new trend for fast food brands as they scramble to keep up with the public’s changing diet.

However, these changes also reflect a tacit admission by fast food brands that their traditional menus are unhealthy. As PR people, we advocate transparency and telling the truth. But we also recognize that by offering a turkey sandwich, apple slices or reduced fat shakes, fast food chains may in fact lose some of the public’s support. After all, how many times have you heard this conversation:

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Spin the Agencies of Record

Fast sex, like fast food, is cheap, but it doesn’t nourish the body – or the soul. – Suzanne Fields

Burger King has selected Alison Brod PR, an indie lifestyle shop, as its Agency of Record. Alison Brod will help Burger King implement ambitious steps to market to women (the agency already has a robust list of-female focused brands in its portfolio).

Before machines the only form of entertainment people really had was relationships. – Doug Copeland

Los Angeles based entertainment agency Industry Public Relations (IPR) has merged with New York City lifestyle and events agency LuxeLife Media (LLM). IPR, a boutique entertainment public relations firm ran by Tracy Nguyen and Kisha Maldonado-Madrid, has expanded the agency and the firm’s east coast presence by partnering up with LuxeLife Media founder Christina Rice.

Operating under one name, LLM clients have folded into the Industry Public Relations roster. In addition, IPR has added VIBE Media to its growing client roster, serving as AOR for the iconic publishing brand as it celebrates its 20th year anniversary. Under the new merger, Rice will lead the east coast operations and Nguyen / Maldonado-Madrid will continue to lead the west coast operations.

When I tour, I stuff fridges full of organic food and stick to that. – Avril Lavigne

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Burger King Gets Royal PR Boost from Twitter Hacking

We’ve all heard the tired maxim that there is no such thing as bad publicity (though Lance Armstrong may disagree). So it makes us feel warm and fuzzy when this adage reveals itself to be true.

When news hit that the Burger King Twitter account had been hacked, PR professionals across the globe cringed. The amount of damage inflicted on a brand via a hijacked social media platform can be immeasurable.

When hijacked, the brand is at the mercy of whoever is in control of the account and information. If the hackers decide to bring the crazy, the brand had better prepare for a long and bumpy public relations response campaign. The mere perception of not being able to secure one’s own Twitter account raises a host of questions regarding basic competencies and safeguards.

Though the breach in cyber security raises some serious concerns for Burger King, the brand didn’t just dodge a bullet on this one–it received a significant social media boost.

It’s simple, really: unlike the BET/MTV fake hacking stunt, this little incident inspired a lot of people to follow Burger King, which means the audience for its next Twitter campaign will be that much bigger. Better get ready to bring your A game, BK.

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PR Fail: MTV/BET Twitter ‘Hack’ Was a Promo Stunt

Twitter hacking is the big thing this week! After hackers turned Burger King into McDonald’s yesterday (and did their best to promote rappers T-Shyne and Chief Keef), the same team hijacked Jeep this morning and turned it into another joke-fest with tweets like this one, which we can only present to you in RT form:

This afternoon, reports and tweets named MTV and BET as the latest victims of the hacker wave. One problem, though: they were faking it.










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Burger King Twitter Hack = PR Win?

Burger King Twitter hackYesterday, while we were at home cleaning the mildew off our shower curtains, a certain someone hacked Burger King‘s official Twitter account, assumed the identity of a certain major competitor fronted by a clown named Ronald, and left some very…interesting messages.

The hack appeared to be a concerted effort that ended almost as soon as it began, but over an hour or so it released a deluge of profanity, hip-hop references and accusations culminating in this image:

Burger King quickly reasserted control and deleted the offending tweets:

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Burger King Admits That Its Sandwiches May Contain Delicious Pony Meat

Saddle up for the week’s biggest PR fail: Burger King, a chain long known for its absolutely positively top-notch ingredients, finally admitted that some of its UK sandwiches might just happen to contain traces of horse meat (hey, at least this guy died in ignorant bliss).

After reports surfaced of a top supplier selling beef products packed with pony flesh, Burger King quickly dropped the suspect firm while simultaneously issuing ‘absolute assurances’ (aka denials) that any of its trademark Whoppers could be tainted by even the tiniest bits of the mares in question.

After performing DNA tests of samples taken from a single production plant, the company released a statement confirming that they showed “the presence of very small trace levels of equine DNA”. Now other top meat-oriented companies are taking pains to distance themselves from Silvercrest, an Irish distributor which for some time apparently included “meat off-cuts, including horse…imported in large frozen blocks from Poland” in its shipments to big UK brands like BK and the supermarket Tesco.

Now come charges of a deep-reaching cover up as Burger King races to preserve business as usual at its 500 UK locations. A spokesperson for a British food safety advocacy group called the company’s response “very shabby”, noting that “It really is not the open, honest and transparent way that we expect a major food company to treat its customers.”

Come on, guys. Didn’t Lance Armstrong teach us that vigorous denials only make the guilty look worse in retrospect?

And now for the requisite grossout joke: Next time we’re in London we’ll make sure not to order the “foal and chips.” Ugh…

Burger King’s Biggest Fan Has Funeral His Way

Death is serious business. So any brand that becomes part of a funeral has clearly made an impact on someone’s life–for better or for worse.

Now the public must decide how it feels about Burger King being part of the funeral procession and burial ceremony for David Kime Jr., who died recently at the age of 88 in Pennsylvania where he lived (and regularly ate WHOPPER JRs). In fact, Mr. Kime was such a loyal fan that his local BK made 40 of the sandwiches for his funeral procession, including one that was set on his coffin and lowered into the earth where it will presumably sit unchanged for thousands of years.

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PR Challenge: Fast Food Workers Stage Mass Walk-Offs

Burger King Protest New York CityThe fast food industry can’t seem to catch a break these days.

Just kidding, those chains make billions of dollars a year—and most have seen their profits increase during the recession. But their employees are another story: they keep trying to unionize! What’s that all about?

Thursday saw a successful blunt-force trauma PR campaign waged by New York City fast food employees with the backing of churches, civil rights groups and labor unions–all united under the Fast Food Forward banner and the “can’t survive on $7.25″ tagline. The first group of workers walked off the job at a Manhattan McDonald’s at 6:30 in the morning, when supporters gathered with signs demanding higher pay and better benefits. More followed suit throughout the day.

The struggle to unionize has a long history in nearly every industry, but yesterday apparently marked the first time that so many have left work en masse at dozens of different restaurants in a coordinated effort to pressure employers.

Some basic facts: The average New York City fast food employee makes approximately $7.25/hour, earning only $11,000 per year. This total obviously doesn’t amount to a living wage in a city like New York—and organization is particularly challenging in an industry with such a high turnover rate. Some also claim that their employers do not offer sufficient sick days or health care benefits. Their collective demands include hourly wages in the range of $15, which would be a substantial increase.

From a distance, this looks like a textbook case of terrible PR.

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