Observations Vol. XXXVIII

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By Chris Cosci

Burger King recently introduced their new chicken sandwiches, the Chicken Whopper and the smaller Chicken Whopper Jr. Burger King's advertising team has been hard at work promoting these new sandwiches.

On April 1, Burger King bought a full-page advertisement in USA Today announcing that they were so committed to the new chicken sandwiches, that they were officially changing their name to Chicken King. Of course, this wasn't really true. Those clever advertising folks were just pulling off an April Fool's joke on the public. I bet they spent hours chuckling to themselves over their ingenious plan. Oh, those wacky advertising agents.

Joining the hysterics was Chicken King... oops, excuse me... Burger King executive vice president and chief global marketing officer Christopher Clauser. Clauser issued a statement saying, "to all those who had a 'beef' with our chicken joke, we're sorry for the 'foul.'" Stop, you're killing us! He continued, "We hope no one got their feathers ruffled." Seriously. Stop it. Please. I'm begging you.

The marketing ploys didn't stop there. No, that was just the beginning. Now, commercials are popping up all over the place, beating the average consumer over the head continuously to make sure not a single person doesn't know about the new sandwiches.

The first commercial I saw, featuring an animated army of dancing and clucking chickens, admittedly made me laugh. Then, last night, everything went downhill. The commercial I saw featured normal-looking people performing their daily jobs - an office worker, a psychiatrist, an opera singer, etc. However, they become so obsessed with the new Chicken Whopper that they start clucking in the middle of meetings and sessions and performances. Then they start running around flapping their arms like a chicken. Soon, they are all running and clucking like chickens en masse to a local Burger King so they can get their fix.

I get the message, and I guess the idea probably looked good on paper. However, on the screen, it was embarrassing to watch. However, it didn't end there. At the end of this advertising masterpiece, they inform you that you can get fifty cents off the purchase of a Chicken Whopper... if you cluck.

That's right. For the price of your dignity, you can cluck when you order your Chicken Whopper and save yourself a bit of spare change. I can see a ten-year old kid walking up to the counter and clucking, but I just can't see a grown person going up to some high school student who makes minimum wage behind a fast food counter, and clucking to save fifty cents. Now, if they told me I could save a buck by bringing in a rubber chicken, then I'd consider it.

Personally, I'll pass on this offer. Instead, I think I'll just take a video camera down to my local Burger King to try to catch some high-powered business professionals in the act of clucking.