Why Burger King Fizzled

January 23, 2012

Slate’s Seth Stevenson with a nice postmortem of Crispin Porter & Bogusky failed tenure running Burger King’s ad campaigns:

Basically, Crispin steered the Burger King brand into a deep ditch.

How did this happen? The agency tried to go even lower than the lowest common denominator, and Burger King paid the price:

What went wrong—how did Crispin’s success so quickly transform into failure? My feeling is that the agency initially excelled mainly by whipping up attention through shock value and pop-cultural attunement. This skill won it plaudits from mid-level creatives across the advertising industry (who yearn to be as daring as Crispin but are reined in by the cooler, wiser heads who employ them), and was initially thrilling to Crispin’s clients (marketing executives who delight in the sudden onslaught of Twitter traffic mentioning their brands). But after it built this early momentum, Crispin was at a loss. It didn’t have the tools to do anything other than raise yet more buzz—which requires ever more outrageous stunts, and generally results in diminishing returns.

PETA could learn a thing or two from Stevenson’s excellent analysis, not that they’d pay attention. Link.

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