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Experience Tracking: Day One

I love Lou’s idea of experience tracking. Day to day, what feels good? What feels confusing? This noon, I had an experience that was a little of both.

I love Lou’s idea of experience tracking. Day to day, what feels good? What feels confusing? This noon, I had an experience that was a little of both.

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While running some errands, I came across a Burger King. I don’t regularly partake of fast food, but I’ve enjoyed Burger King’s recent advertising and marketing campaigns, which include its scarily smiling king icon, a subservient chicken, and a SpongeBob SquarePants movie tie in. The company has even benefited from some accidental advertising: People have been stealing large SpongeBob inflatables, and BK makes the news.

While a lot of the recent advertising and marketing can be attributed to Crispin Porter + Bogusky, I wonder how deeply their influence reaches. Because at lunch today, perhaps for the first time in my life, I laughed out loud reading the paper bag that my lunch came in, as well as the wrapper that surrounded my burger. And I’d like to thank the people that made that happen.

First, the burger wrapper. With vintage-y design and text, the wrapper features several notable items. (I know, a picture is worth 1,000 words, but bear with me. I don’t want to get ketchup on our scanner.) On one side flap, the wrapper says, “You’re about to find out why we say ‘cheese’ before someone takes a picture. Just try not to smile when you bite into this cheeseburger. We dare you.” The other side isn’t as interesting but does mention that Burger King’s been around since 1954. Who knew? It’s the middle that wins. Printed so the text is backwards on the outside of the wrapper — but dark enough so you can read through the wrapper on the inside when you lift up the burger (!!!) — is a block that reads

You have the right to have things your way. You have the right to scarf, wolf, or hork down this hamburger. You have the right to eat it like a dainty little bird. You have the right to order another. You have the right to it being as good as the first one.

I laughed at hork. And I laughed again at “dainty little bird.” But the thing I like the most is the pure idea. Print something backwards on a wrapper so it can be read on the inside as part of the eating experience. Too cool.

The paper sack was also interesting — primarily because it offered a sniglet-like definition of the stray French fries that often fall to the bottom of a bag: “French fries that have attempted to escape from their container only to strand themselves in the bottom of the bag are called ‘bagglers.’ The first to open the bag and retrieve the baggler gets to eat the baggler. Therefore, it is in one’s best interest to be the keeper of the bag.”

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Fun stuff. And it seems like BK’s CMO, Russ Klein is doing good work. But I have two questions: Did CP+B do the wrapper and bag creative work? And why doesn’t that energy and attitude creep into BK’s restaurant design, uniforms, ambience, etc.? Because that’s what was confusing. The bag and wrapper were fun and intelligent, mature and somewhat snarky. But the restaurant’s just a fast food restaurant. The food was the same old food. The experience was uneven, albeit a net positive.

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