After going three-for-three in drawing public criticism for its Whopper Virgins, Texican and Square Butts campaigns, Crispin Porter + Bogusky has scored another trifecta: a three-picture Burger King marketing tie-in with Viacom's Paramount Pictures, starting with Friday's release of Star Trek. Finally, an ad campaign that could offend only the Klingons.
Neither Burger King nor Paramount has ever worked with a single marketing partner on such a rapid succession of films, which will also tie B.K. into campaigns for Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen in June, and G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra in August.
For the Star Trek campaign, Crispin Porter + Bogusky turn the iconic B.K. King into "Kingons" (a hybrid of the King and Trek's alien Klingon race) who beam down to earth seeking collectible Star Trek glasses. For its part, Burger King is offering chicken tenders in the shape of Starfleet Command insignia. Other planned tie-ins include a "Stackticonn" B.K. sandwich for Transformers and a Michael Bay-directed Burger King spot.
Feature film tie-ins have declined in popularity among some marketers lately, but fast-food brands continue to flip these partnerships into success, particularly Burger King. Last year's tie-ins with the first Transformers film and Iron Man led to an increase in traffic at B.K.'s stores, the company confirmed. And Paramount can't complain: Transformers hauled in $700 million, and Iron Man, $580 million.
In spite of the recession, the movie business has remained healthy, and fast food chains like McDonald's and Burger King have thrived as customers turn to cheaper, bang-for-buck fare. Partnerships like these are simply a natural, symbiotic fit. How the Klingons feel about them remains to be seen.