Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Bad tagline and creepy characters for QSR brands

Yesterday, USA Today reported that Burger King is changing its tagline from "Have It Your Way" to "Be Your Way".

I think this is terrible.

What the hell does "be your way" really mean?

The author of the article surmises that it:
reflects the drumbeat Millennial theme of customization — which has been core to Burger King for decades. (Burger King says a Whopper sandwich, for example, technically can be ordered 221,184 different ways.)...Just maybe the new slogan puts BK slightly more in tune with the more Millennial-friendly slogans at McDonald’s (“I’m Loving It”) and Taco Bell (“Live Mas”).
I'm not really sure what makes these taglines more "Millennial" than anything else. Really what does that mean? I get the customization but how is "Be your way" more tied to that theme than "Have it your way"? I get much more of a customization message from the original than the new line.

SVP of Global Brand Management was quoted in a phone interview, saying, “We want to be talked about and connected to pop culture. We want to be an iconic brand way beyond quick-service restaurants.”

Ok, I get that. But it's really not clear how this shift to an existentialist way of "being" has anything to do with the brand's goals. In fact, getting away from a tagline that has been ingrained in culture for the past 40 years and moving to something softer and more nebulous could actually be more harmful. But only time will tell.

Another recent announcement in the QSR arena comes from McDonald's, who is adding a new animated happy meal character named, what else, Happy. Happy has been used in France since 2009 and across parts of Europe and Latin America since.

Can anyone else say CREEPY? Suiting pair perhaps to the creepy new Ronald as well.

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