Burger King embraces fleshy philandering

In an effort to lure New Zealand’s loyal fast food aficionados away from beef-based options on its menu, Burger King has just launched a cheeky campaign via Colenso BBDO that encourages Kiwis to cheat on beef by sampling something from its new range of chicken-based options. 

But these nefarious acts couldn’t just occur in the open for all to see. So to ensure that the cheating happens in private, the fast food chain has converted the Ocean Inn Motel in Northcote into an extension of its brand.

The road front sign, toiletries, dressing gowns, slippers, stationery, towels and reception area have all been rebranded to reflect the fast food chain’s insignia, and the beds in each room have been replaced with two booths and a table.

General marketing manager of Burger King New Zealand James Woodbridge says that such elaborate measures were taken in order to showcase the full range of options on Burger King’s menu. 

“New Zealanders know Burger King is all about flame grilled beef burgers. But this does present a challenge when it comes to marketing and selling chicken. Motel Burger King was a bold, audacious way for us to make it okay for our loyal beef-loving customers to cheat on beef with our new range of chicken burgers.”

The problem of low sales among chicken products isn’t unique to Burger King. Last year, in a similar effort to increase sales in the poultry department, McDonald’s launched the quirky ‘Meet the Chickens’ campaign via DDB.  

And quirkiness seems to be the fast food fad of the day, with Burger King also embracing a more irreverent tone in its recent pre-rolls and TVCs.     

While the majority of the recent Burger King promotions have been limited to humorous TVCs or pre-rolls, the ‘Outlaw’ campaign had a strong social media element, which Colenso is again experimenting with in the new campaign.   

To sample the new honey and soy, mango chilli and lime, or Peri Peri TenderCrisp Chicken Burgers, Burger King fans are required to book a room though the fast food chain’s Facebook page. If the booking is confirmed, then four friends will be assigned a room where they can cheat on beef in unison.

Upon arriving at the motel, the guests will be required to check into the motel through their Facebook accounts and during the 30-minute stay they will be incentivised to share photos through the hashtag #motelBK.

“We know that the core BK audience is enormously active on social media but can be reluctant to share branded messages. However, they also feel increasing pressure to put forward the most interesting digital version of themselves – to be sharing unique experiences that stand them out from their friends. With Motel BK we … create such a unique brand experience that they will be keen to share…” says Colenso’s senior digital and social strategist Neville Doyle. 

Burger King has already posted images of Peter Leitch, the Mad Butcher, and reality star Hayley Holt, who were recently invited to visit the motel on Auckland’s North Shore.   

While Leitch’s image features the popular businessman giving a playful two-fingered salute, Holt’s snapshot hints more strongly at the cheating theme in the sense that it has a paparazzi feel about it.  

Despite managing to evade the camera lens of the paparazzo lurking in the shadows, Leitch didn’t leave the motel with his reputation fully intact. His shenanigans were caught on video and then used in a cheeky pre-roll to support the campaign.

Narrated by Robert Magruder, the voice of Cheaters, and shot in the typical monochromatic style of the long-running, infidelity-themed show, the pre-roll chronicles Leitch as he sneakily devours a chicken burger.            

While Colenso’s latest effort is certainly one of the more elaborate executions of the cheating motif in advertising, it’s by no means the first. 

In 2009, Avis Car Rental released a tongue-in-cheek spot that was narrated from the perspective of a jealous car that was being left behind by a man who was going on yet another business trip.      

And to alleviate some of the congestion in Dublin, Ireland-based creative agency Rothco developed an integrated campaign that encouraged the city’s commuters to cheat on their cars with the bus at least once a week.  

Dublin Bus Case Study – Cheat on your car. from Rothco on Vimeo.

But while these examples offer some semblance of subtlety, footware company Reebok instead opted for a more direct approach by releasing a print ad that said “cheat on your girlfriend, not on your workout.”

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