Thursday, March 12, 2009

Burger King Attempts the Possimpible - The BK Lounge

First and foremost, if you recognized “the possimpible” as a quote by Neil Patrick Harris from the show How I Met Your Mother, you get +5 Awesome Millennial points, and a virtual high-five from me. If not, go watch the show, and read the below definition:

Possimpible. adj. Capable of happening yet not capable of happening.The magical place where the possible and impossible meet. Utopia. The Victoria Secret Fashion Show. (Ok, the last one isn’t a dictionary got me).

Or consider the following definition:

Possimpible. mktg. Burger King launches a “lounge.” Burger King FINALLY recognizes the easiest cross-promotional marketing venture in the history of cross-promotions...or marketing...or ventures.

But sadly, this painfully easy, cross-promotional venture that has been blessed by the Gods, Millennials, and Obama (don’t quote me on the last one) has been screwed up more than Chris Brown’s reputation.

“What’s the big deal?” you ask...Burger King decided to name their new “lounge” the Whopper Bar, in an attempt to become more contemporary. FAIL. Had they named it The BK Lounge, guaranteed success - or at least a one hit wonder.

For those of you not familiar with the term, The BK Lounge, it’s a phrase that 90% of Millennials can quote. When they hear it, they make an unconscious association with Burger King with comedian phenom Dane Cook. In one of his legendary standup routines, The Dane calls Burger King “The BK Lounge,” the rest is legend. Many people I know don’t even call Burger King by it’s real name, they just call it The BK Lounge.

If Burger King really wanted to appeal to Gen-Y and become more contemporary, all they had to do was call it The BK Lounge, it’s that simple (and serve beer, the fact that they have a “bar” and no beer is disconcerting...I digress). Name it something 90% of your target market not only can recognize and recall, but name it something that they unconsciously associate with a good time.

I think the most painful part of this, is that this is coming from a company that lays claim to two of the biggest viral marketing campaigns ever - the Subservient Chicken (which had a petty 450 million views) and The King, which not only helped re-brand the company, but also generate word of mouth marketing and 100K+ MySpace friends. I may not eat their food, but I have the utmost respect for the way they market.

How could they have dropped the ball on this? Epic Fail Burger King. Epic Fail.

*walks off sadly into sunset*

-Josh Groth


Jenna said...

What would be the actual point of the BK Lounge? Doesn't seem like a good idea...

Matt Singley said...

Good thoughts, Josh. I tweeted this as well (, thanks for speaking for your generation.

Josh Groth said...

@Jenna The idea for a Whopper Bar was to modernize the brand, and in my eyes, give BK footing in the fast-casual or casual dinning seagment rather than being solely in the fast food seagment. While I also am unsure if the move was a good move, I believe they should have leveraged their cross-promotional opportunites going forward in an effort to increase adoption rates and/or WOM marketing. I also believe that they should have offered better beef, beer, and some sort of unique product offering in order to differentiate themselves and mitigate risk.

Anonymous said...

You are right about "Whopper Bar". However, "BK Lounge" is premil. Witness: De La Soul's 1991 song, "Bitties in the BK Lounge". De La wasn't complimentary to BK in that one.

Jenny Georgio-who said...

When I heard that BK was launching a lounge I got so excited. I was thinking that Dane Cooks nickname made it big. Are you serious? Whopper Bar? Yeah that doesn't entice me to go there and eat at all. The BK Lounge does make me think of a good time and lots of fun.

I agree... Epic Fail.

cathy said...

when can we see the commercial for it. My daughter was used in the commercial

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