Monday, November 24, 2008

Does Hip, Ironic Fast Food Advertising Sway You?

I'm not always crazy about the frequently weird, pseudo hipster, faux ironic advertising campaigns of Burger King, but I have to admit that more often than not they make me smile, maybe even chuckle.

Who can forget such campaigns as Subservient Chicken (or its STAR WARS spin-off Sith Sense), Dr. Angus, the Simon & Garfunkely duo singing about Mushroom Swiss Burgers, or my favorite, Ugoff the Eurotrash designer? On the other hand, I think it's best we all forget Chicken Fries and the accompanying Coq Roq campaign.

I also have to admit that while I'm not nearly the fast food eater I once was, ads for things like the Loaded Steakhouse Burger and the Bacon Cheese Tater Tot Breakfast Wrap Thingy have actually gotten me to try the item. In both cases just once.

I'm not sure if McDonald's has been doing more of this type of advertising lately or if I'm just noticing it more, but I've found things like BurgerCon and Nuggnuts to be a deadly mix of boring and inexplicable.

BurgerCon continues to produce the biggest "WTF?" reaction from anybody I show it to. Filled with hair metal imagery and a singer screeching a falsetto "BurgerConnnnnnn!" over a generic metal lead as a voiceover tells us things like "There are no losers at BurgerCon. Unless you're a loser to begin with." I'm not sure if BurgerCon is supposed to be a burger "convention" or some type of burger competition, but the site suggests I should paste the URL into an IM or email in a desperate attempt to generate some viral marketing.

After doing some research it appears that this campaign was launched sometime in 2007 and I'm just hearing about it now. Not surprising given the head scratching reaction it prompted, even from the target audience of teen-and-twentysomething gamers.

The Nuggnuts campaign is definitely more recent and must be the latest attempt by The Golden Arches to pump up their standing in the ongoing chicken wars with Wendy's, KFC and Chick-Fil-A, whose "Eat More Chicken" continues to roll on year after year after year. Filled with a Nuggnut Hall of Fame (I'm assuming these are real people and not ad agency creations), a Nuggnut Pledge, a Nuggnut store and even a link to a Facebook page, this one almost feels like McDonald's is getting it right.

In fact, I couldn't even tell you the last time I had an order of Chicken McNuggets but I might even give 'em a try next time I hit the drive thru for a vanilla shake or a Filet-O-Fish.

Question: Does any of this hip, ironic and/or viral marketing sway you when it comes to making a fast food choice?


Synd-e said...

Absolutely not. When I saw one of the TV ads for "Nuggnuts" with the wedding cake made out of McNuggets it made me kind of ill, frankly. And McNuggets are only one of 3 items I will eat from McD's!

Now, that being said, I do already have a copy of the Chik-Fil-A "Bovines in Blue" calendar for 2009 already. Cowlumbo! Hee!

Dan said...

Bovines in Blue... I love it! I forgot about that McNugget cake. Yep, think I threw up in my mouth a little when I saw that, too.

I am so wise said...

Na, I eat at BK because they produce tasty food for a very nice price.

Cham said...

Um, I'm not exactly a 20 something video gamer. I'm an old bitter bitch that spends most of her time crawling around in the woods. For some reason, probably because I am no advertiser's target audience, I haven't seen any of these cool hip commercials that are supposed to impress the young.

However, I do like my fast food, I need it because I burn so many calories. I base my choice on the price (dollar menu), nutritional content, and how far the beverage station is away from the counter so I can bring in a previously used soda cup and refill it time and time again. I like McDonalds and Burger King.

Dan said...

Once again the King has come up with a better ad campaign. While McDonald's is beating us over the head with the dopey Nuggnuts campaign, BK rolls out and gets coverage in WSJ.