Hitting the Target: Burger King Edition

By: Courtney Martere

A major part of appealing to a target buyer is communicating with them in real time. This could mean solving their current issues, taking their advice and desires into consideration, or developing a product that proves useful right now. David Meerman Scott explains real time by saying, “News breaks over minutes, not days.” It is in a brand or business’ best interest to remain alert of the ever-changing world and constantly be thinking about how they can stay relevant to consumers.

As we discussed target audience in class the other day, I couldn’t help but think of a genius advertisement Burger King Israel released last week. On the eve of Valentine’s Day, and during the week of the release of 50 Shades Darker, Burger King introduced the Adult’s Meal. Similar to a kid’s meal, the adult meal comes with a free toy inside.

It’s a sex toy. Burger King is selling sex toys with their food.


It sounds bizarre, widely risky and maybe even a little inappropriate, but the Adult’s Meal has generated a worldwide buzz of discussion among both critics and interested buyers. The timing, in my opinion, is genius. The release of the second movie in the 50 Shades sequel has been the talk of the web lately. Everyone is curious about the popular, racy film that brought in $146 million on the night of its debut. It was essentially clever for BK to play off of this public knowledge and include hints of 50 Shades into their campaign.

Additionally, BK drove buyers to their store on a night that the franchise would normally not see a lot of business: Valentine’s Day. I mean, seriously, who is taking their special someone out to a fast food chain on what is supposed to be the most romantic day of the year? Lonely singles may wander to a BK drive-thru on February 14th, but business should be expectedly slow. This year, however, BK peaked the interest of their target audience and encouraged them to buy their product. The shock factor in itself would be enough for me to buy the meal. In the mind of many consumers, they’re probably thinking, “This can’t be real.” The only way to find out if it’s legit? Buy the product.

Advertisers tend to shy away from taking risks as Burger King did with this campaign. Naturally, they’re afraid of failure. They’re afraid of change. Why mess with what has worked in the past? The problem with constantly relying on past successes, is that those approaches won’t always be successful in the future. By taking a risk and paying attention to what the public is talking about, Burger King capitalized on the opportunity to offer a product that is relevant today. Any other time, this idea may not have worked. A year ago or even a year from now, this campaign will probably make no sense, but it is relevant right now.

Commercial: Burger King Adult’s Meal


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