Sunday, February 22, 2015

How a Great Marketing Campaign Worked for the Wrong Company

Burger King is a great company, but they might be making a mistake.

Most of the time, companies want to use an advertising campaign to drive traffic to their store.

Let it be known that I like plenty of things at Burger King, and I am not trying to start any debate about which fast food tastes the best.  Let’s face it; we’re not really picking ANY of them as our choice for our “Last Supper.”
Burger King is running a great ad campaign that could backfire.

Burger King is doing a lot of things right with one of its current marketing campaigns, but the company’s marketers overlooked one of the basic principles of business.

Currently, they have a really good deal: $1.49 for 10 chicken nuggets.

While I don’t work for Burger King’s headquarters or even at one of its many franchise locations, I’m pretty sure they are not selling their nuggets for a profit with this deal.

So why are they doing this?

I don’t know, for sure, but I speculate that this is a loss leader for them.

Burger King is really good at making its chicken nuggets look really tasty in its commercials, and they are running several different ads to promote this.  Plus, they are running this ad all of the time.

So they make something that looks really good for a really good price, and they’re making sure that people know about it.

Yeah, I agree.  That is definitely going to bring people into their stores.  Yes, they might not make a profit on selling THOSE nuggets (and might even lose a little, hence the term “loss leader”), but many people coming into Burger King stores to buy those nuggets will order other things that tend to generate much higher profit margins for them, like soda pop and fries.

So what’s wrong with this campaign?

Nothing…except, these chicken nuggets don’t taste very good at all.

These nuggets are probably popular with kids, but there are not many adults that will truly enjoy eating these.  However, 10 chicken nuggets are too many for many of the children who would actually enjoy eating them.

For $1.49, 10 of those nuggets look pretty good, right?
I fell for this once.  I came into the store and bought these nuggets, because I figured to myself, “At $1.49, How bad could these really be?”

I won’t say or write that these nuggets are bad, but they are not very good.  These chicken nuggets were not designed for adults with adult-like taste buds.

After this “chicken nugget visit” to Burger King, I saw this commercial again, and it had an effect on me…but a different effect this time.

What was the effect?

I wanted to go to a different place that got reviews for having much better chicken fingers.  That’s right.  The Burger King commercial made me want to check out ANOTHER RESTAURANT.

Let me emphasize that!

A commercial FOR Burger King made me want to go to another restaurant.

Can you believe that?

I’m pretty sure that the bosses of the Burger King marketing team were not paying money to have entice me to eat at another restaurant.  (To be fair, it was not a fast food restaurant…It was not a “classy” joint, but it was not one of its direct competitors, either.)

NOTE: It’s not really the point, but if you’re curious, I ended up going to Uncle Joe’s Chicken Fingers in Southfield Michigan.

I doubt that I’m the only one who was affected this way, either.  Maybe we went to different restaurants, but Burger King’s commercials promoting the chicken nugget deal is making us want to visit different restaurants that allows us to eat fried chicken “stuff” that simply tastes better.  (Yes, it’s just as unhealthy, but that’s not my point here.)

Which basic business principle did this overlook?

Burger King is doing a great job of marketing, but is it really helping its business?

I don’t know, but it reminded me of something really important.

Key Point: Really good marketing MAGNIFIES what you’ve got, either good or bad.

So if you have something really good, really good marketing will expose more people to it.

However, if you have something that’s NOT really good, guess what great marketing will do for it?

Key Question:  Are you sure that you’re spending time developing something that’s worth people experiencing once your marketing makes sure they see it?

Burger King might be making money, because I’m not truly it’s targeted demographic.  Sure, they’ll take whatever money I’ll give to them, but I’m not their target.  They (probably) want families with children (who often think fast food tastes better than home cooking, anyway) coming into their stores with the intention of larger orders.

Now seeing an ad Whooper for $2.00 would bring me into the store, and I’d be likely to return to the store.  I doubt that I’d be alone.  That $2.00 Whopper tastes pretty good, even to adults.

Think some adults might find this Burger King Whopper a little more appetizing?

BEFORE you being to focus on marketing your business, ask yourself this.  Are you marketing a great deal on a tasty Whopper or a great deal on those largely unforgettable chicken nuggets?

If you bring people to your door, are you sure they’ll want to return?

If not, your problem is MUCH bigger than marketing.

Do you think Burger King might be making this mistake?

No comments:

Post a Comment

Hey there! Thank you for taking time to read my post and share your thoughts with me and my other readers. I'm always tickled when I get a non-SPAM comment. Honestly, sometimes I'm even okay with some borderline SPAM.

Let me know if you would like for me to address a topic by sending me an email at

Thanks, again. I look forward to seeing you soon.