Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Audrina Partridge in Carl's Bikini Ad

It has been a few years since Carl's Jr. heated up TV screens with their ad featuring Paris Hilton in a swimsuit washing a Bentley.

Now it is Audrina Partridge's turn. Partridge's "top-rated bikini body" is featured in a new ad for Carl's Teriyaki Burger. Sex sells fast food, too, apparently:

“During the summer, as my fans know, I’m always on the beach in my bikini,” said Patridge. “But, my one indulgence is the Carl’s Jr. Teriyaki Burger. I love the charbroiled pineapple and the Teriyaki glaze – I seriously crave it.”

The Teriyaki Burger has a charbroiled beef patty, teriyaki glaze, a charbroiled pineapple slice, Swiss cheese, lettuce, tomato, red onion and mayonnaise, on a seeded bun. They are available in a single, double or Six Dollar™ version, and sell for $2.89, $3.89 and $4.69 respectively.

As part of this bikini theme and to further promote the Teriyaki burger, Carl's and Hardee's have partnered with Break Media for a "Hot Chicks Eating Burgers" video contest. 'Hot chicks' are supposed to submit videos of themselves eating burgers at

Just a coincidence...
Less than an hour after I wrote the above, FedEx showed up at my door with this pineapple for me from Carl's:

The postcard 'from' Audrina reads: "Having a delicious summer with the Carl's Jr. Teriyaki Burger. Wish you were here... XO, Audrina."

So, since I plan on eating some of this pineapple, that should serve as full disclosure... although I really don't need to do that since I already wrote about it. Hmmmm.

I also wanted to mention that you can find a $1 off coupon for the Teriyaki Burger here.

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Tuesday, June 23, 2009

BK's Suggestive 7 Incher Ad

Burger King's has a new menu item in their Singapore area restaurants. It is called the "BK Super Seven Incher."

If the name wasn't bad enough, the poster promoting the sandwich show the sandwich approaching a woman's open mouth with the words "It'll Blow" in a large font underneath. The wording continues in smaller print on the next line, "Your Mind Away." Well, heck, just take a look at it:

To further entice you to try this sandwich, the poster reads: "Fill your desire for something long, juicy and flame-grilled with the new BK Super Seven Incher. Yearn for more after you taste the mind-blowing burger that comes with a single beef patty, topped with American cheese, crispy onions and the A.1. Thick & Hearty Steak Sauce."

A seven-inch long burger patty. hmmm.

We've seen more suggestive advertising, to be sure, but this one just seems to be poorly executed AND in bad taste (and probably tastes bad, too).

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Monday, June 08, 2009

Dunkin's Donuts Intros Breakfast Wrap

Dunkin's Donuts has expanded their breakfast food line-up with their new Wake-Up Wrap.

The Wake-Up Wrap is a five-inch round tortilla served toasted with scrambled egg (half an egg) and a slice of American cheese. It is priced at 99¢. A slice of cherrywood smoked bacon can be added for 30¢ more.

The Wake-Up Wrap is listed on Dunkin' Donuts' DDSMART menu of better-for-you foods and beverages. It has 170 calories and 10 grams of fat. Here's the complete nutritional data:

The Wake-Up Wrap coincides with Dunkin's new advertising campaign and slogan "Breakfast NOT Brokefast." The new advertising campaign "declares that in these challenging times, a fast and delicious breakfast needn't cost Americans more than pocket change."

Part of the new ad campaign will be display ads at public fountains in NY, Chicago & Boston... the displays will have legs sticking up from the water with nearby signs stating, "Please Do Not Remove Change for 99¢ Items at Dunkin' Donuts." Like this:

This photo was supplied by Dunkin' Donuts ad agency behind the campaign, Hill Holliday. It was taken today at Copley Mall in Boston.

UPDATE: A review of Dunkin' Donuts Wake-Up Wrap is already available at Grub Grade.

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Thursday, May 07, 2009

Problems with KFC/Oprah Coupon

UPDATE: KFC has now officially decided to NOT redeem the coupons discussed below. They have issued a statement which I've written about and you can view:
KFC Revokes Coupons, Issues Rain Checks

After Oprah talked about KFC's new grilled chicken on her show on Tuesday (5/5/09), a coupon was made available online for printing.  The coupon (shown below) was for a "Free 2 pc Kentucky Grilled Chicken meal:  2 pcs grilled chicken (manager's choice), two individual sides and a biscuit."

The trouble is that some KFC fast food restaurants are reportedly refusing to accept the coupon.  The reports vary and we've linked to many of the stories and blog posts below.  Apparently some manager's have said the promotion is over for the day, created separate lines for those with coupons, claimed to have run out of menu items, and said that coupons with barcode numbers ending in "1234" are not valid (evidently ALL the coupon barcodes end in "1234"!!!).  Others have reported that they had no problem at all redeeming their coupon.

Here's what the coupon looks like:

Oprah now has this page on her site with information on who to call if your coupon is not accepted at KFC.

Her site states:  "All the PDF coupons downloaded from on the evening of May 5 have the same bar code" and instructs you to call 1-800-CALL-KFC if your coupon is not accepted and a "KFC Customer Service representative will assist you and also take the information about your experience and follow up with the restaurant."

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Wednesday, March 11, 2009

BK Studio: Wear Our Logo

Hey, we all know these are tough economic times. Advertising budgets might be shrinking at some of our favorite fast food chains, but Burger King has a solution. They've figured out how to get us to pay them to advertising.

Introducing Burger King Studio!

BK is selling you shirts that will help sell more of their burgers!

You can even design your own BK Studio shirt. The cost, a mere $24.

The ones they've designed for you (on the right) will set you back $16.

The titles of the ones on the right (from top to bottom are "Ultimate Whopper," "The Bubble Has Burst," and "King of Deliciousness."

Here's Burger King's take on their new 'studio':
"Burger King Studio is part art gallery, part think-tank with a dash of Mad Scientist's experiments thrown in for good measure."

"Burger King Studio is a progressive platform that inspires free-flowing creativity and provides a forum for imaginative collaboration between artists and consumers," says Cindy Syracuse, senior director, cultural marketing, Burger King Corp.
BK is even going to have boutiques (yup, shops) where you can buy their schwag. The first one has already opened at Universal CityWalk in Orlando.

And here I am doing my small part to promote their promotion and I bet I won't even get a damn t-shirt!

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Friday, March 06, 2009

BK Breakfast Shots and Burger Shots AGAIN!

Have you seen the ads for Burger Kings Breakfast Shots and Burger Shots? Did you know they've tried the mini-burger concept before? Well, they did... back in 1987. Video proof from a 1987 TV ad is below.

BK announced their mini breakfast sandwiches and burgers last month.

Like the 'sliders' of White Castle fame, BK's Burger Shots are tiny flame-broiled burgers topped with mustard, ketchup and two pickles between a bun without sesame seeds and are available in a two-pack ($1.39) or a six-pack ($4.09).

BK Breakfast Shots feature the choice of ham, bacon or a sausage patty with an egg, a smoky cheese sauce and melted American cheese served on a bun. BK They're available in a two-pack ($1.49) or a four-pack (2.89).

You can read a review and see real-world photos of the Breakfast Shots at Hamburger Calculus.

Here's your nutritional info for the 2-packs of both:

And now for the video proof that this is BK's second attempt at this concept:

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Jack's Back With New Logo

The Jack in the Box ad campaign that started during the Super Bowl with Jack being hit by a bus has now resulted in a new Jack in the Box logo being unveiled (and Jack being released from the hospital).
The new logo prominently features the name "Jack" in script lettering above a simpler, low-key "in the Box," with the swooping tail of the "k" in "Jack" mimicking the large, red smile of the chain's icon.
Here's the new logo:

Another redesign will be coming on February 16, when there will be a new website. This is really a long time coming. While most of the other fast food restaurants have taken their websites to the next level with interactive features, Jack's website has started to look a little stale. (By the way, another exception to these improvements is McDonald's; their website is still pretty basic, too.)

Terri Graham, senior vice president and chief marketing officer for Jack in the Box Inc says, “We’re committed to re-energizing our brand through a comprehensive restaurant re-image program, the introduction of an updated logo, and continued menu innovation that will provide our guests exciting new products they can order anytime day or night. Jack in the Box is one of the only major QSR chains that offer its full menu all day.”

Changes will include the new logo, new website, a restaurant 're-image program,' menu innovation, and social networking.

Regarding the menu, "Later this month, Jack in the Box will launch a new product platform with the introduction of Mini Sirloin Burgers, which feature a trio of all-sirloin patties topped with American cheese, grilled onions and ketchup served on bakery-style buns reminiscent of Hawaiian sweet rolls."

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Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Jack's Shameless Superbowl Head Trauma

Like millions of others, you probably saw Jack get hit by a bus in the Jack in the Box ad during the Superbowl.

The 'official statement' after the ad says "In lieu of sending flowers, please order anything on the menu, anytime of the day.  Jack would want it that way."

Just another attempt at fast food viral marketing (with a huge Superbowl price tag), and the requisite web site

Miss it?  You can see all the Superbowl ads over at Hulu (see below).

But for now, here's some fake cell phone video taken right after the accident:

We wrote about the Denny's Superbowl ad and free Grand Slam on Monday.

The only other fast food Superbowl ad was Taco Bell's. And we think that was a huge FAIL.

Here's all the Superbowl ads (on Hulu):

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Wednesday, January 28, 2009

McDonald's at Texas Stock Show

I visited the famous Fort Worth Stock Show and Rodeo last week. Every year there is an area called "Planet Agriculture" promoting various agricultural products from cotton and corn to milk and beef. Sponsored by the Texas Farm Bureau, Cattleman's Beef Board (the "Beef: It's What's for Dinner" folks) and McDonald's, the section about beef had lots of information, but I thought I'd share the two signs clearly produced for McDonald's. I've included a transcription of the text below each photo.

McDonald's is clearly trying to promote their standard message that their food is healthy, safe and nutritious, but there have an additional marketing target here... the people of Texas.  They want Texans to know just how much money they pour into the Texas economy with their copious beef purchases.

McDonald's Beef Facts
(Sources: Texas Farm Bureau & McDonald's)

McDonald's provides nutrition and ingredient information for the majority of our products.

Lean Beef (as set by the USDA) is less than 10g of Total Fat, 4.5g or less of Saturated fat and less than 95 mg of cholesterol per serving and 100 grams. There are 29 cuts of beef that meet the government labeling guidelines for Lean. The McDonald's hamburger meets this criteria too!

A 3 oz serving of lean beef is an excellent source of:
  • Protein (50% of the DV*)
  • Zinc (39% of the DV)
  • Vitamin B12 (37% of the DV)
  • Selenium (24% of the DV)
  • Phosphorus (30% of the DV)
Percent Daily Value (DV) is based on a 2,000-calories diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower, depending on your calorie needs.

McDonald's purchased more than 87 million pounds of beef from Texas in 2005.

McDonald's spent more than $100 million dollars on beef purchased from Texas in 2005.

McDonald's uses only 100% USDA inspected beef, with no additives, fillers, flavor enhancers or extenders. Patties are seasoned at the grill with salt and pepper.

McDonald's Beef Facts
(Sources: Texas Farm Bureau & McDonald's)

Quality and sensory testing are conducted every two hours at McDonald's supplier plants. Patties are tested using the same grills found in McDonald's restaurants and scored to ensure consistent taste and texture.

McDonald's requires feed grain certification from all suppliers. Signed affidavits from suppliers verify that animals have been fed in 100 percent compliance with federal guidelines to ensure that cattle in McDonald's supply chain are feed with only safe, wholesome feed.

McDonald's has some of the most stringent food safety and quality assurance standards in the industry. Its safety regulations for beef meets or exceeds those required by the USDA.
  1. Beef is America's #1 selling protein!
  2. Beef cattle are found on more than 130,000 Texas farms and ranches.
  3. In 1968 McDonald's introduced the Big Mac sandwich as a core menu item.
  4. Beef is the #1 source of protein, B-12, and zinc in the diet!
  5. A three ounce serving of lean beef provides 50 percent of the daily value our bodies need for protein.

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Friday, January 09, 2009

Lose 10 Facebook friends, get a free Whopper

Burger King has unleashed a unique technique to install itself as a social networking player.

Their website,, encourages you to install a Facebook app called "Whopper Sacrifice" on your Facebook page.

Once you've used it to 'sacrifice' 10 of your Facebook friends, you'll get a coupon for a free Whopper.

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Wednesday, December 10, 2008

BK's Interesting Burger Documentary

If you've seen the short versions of Burger King's new marketing concept, we've got the full length version for you to watch below.

It's called "Whopper Virgins" and the idea is to let folks from remote parts of the world, who have never heard of McDonald's or Burger King, try a Whopper and a Big Mac.

But it is more than just your average taste test. Directed by Stacy Peralta (skateboarder turned director, he's an original Z-Boy from Dogtown), the documentary takes an interesting look at people from around the world trying a hamburger for the first time.

Picking up a hamburger is second nature to us, so it is interesting to watch people try to pick up a hamburger for the first time!

Here's the full video (it runs over 7 minutes long):

You can also watch it at BK's Whopper Virgins site.

more on the movie:

"I was eager to sign on to this project when I realized the risk Burger King Corp. was taking to uncover the true nature of peoples' love for the Whopper sandwich," said Stacy Peralta, award-winning director and producer of films such as "Dogtown" and "Made in America." "The footage that my crew and I were able to capture takes a revealing look at the naked truth behind the Whopper sandwich's following."

"The people we encountered along the way were wonderful," said Brian Gies, vice president, marketing impact, Burger King Corp. "They were enthusiastic about sampling our product and even more eager to share their culture, including their own food, with the team conducting the tests."

In keeping with BKC's philanthropic philosophy to give back to the communities in which it lives and works, at the conclusion of each taste test, Burger King Corp. worked cooperatively with local authorities to make donations, tailored specifically to benefit each individual community that participated in the 'study' and make a lasting contribution in each region. The company donated educational supplies and children's toys in Thailand and Greenland that will benefit local schools and increase learning opportunities for children. In Romania, the company helped fund a restoration of a 17th century church, which will enhance one of the community's central gathering places.

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Thursday, November 20, 2008

BK Drops Special Marketing Wallets

So Good food blog has a thorough documentation of a guerilla marketing effort by Burger King.

Evidently Burger King has been dropping wallets (so far in Chicago and Orlando) with cash, a map of area Burger King locations and a message telling the finder that he can also be a keeper.

The message reads: "Attention would-be good samaritan: Don't worry about lost & found. The King wants you to keep this wallet and everything in it."

Read the rest of the story and see more photos at So Good.

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Michael Phelps Signs with Subway

Subway, the world's largest submarine sandwich franchise and second largest fast food franchise with 30,000 locations in 87 countries has added a new spokesperson. None other than the man with a record 14 gold medals, Michael Phelps.

Says Subway: "Subway takes pride in being a healthy and active brand - one that can be a regular part of these world class athletes' routines," states Tony Pace, Chief Marketing Officer of the Subway Franchisee Advertising Fund Trust (SFAFT), which signed the contract with Phelps. "We knew Michael Phelps was a big fan of our sandwiches and we wanted to build on that with him to illustrate that Subway is a brand that can play a role in helping everyone - from elite athletes to weekend joggers - perform at their peak levels and make healthier, smarter choices about food, whatever the activity."

Says gold medalist Michael Phelps: "Subway restaurants have always given me the options that I am looking for - whether that's healthy sandwiches before a big meet or the tasty meatball sub that I treat myself with. I was ready to take my Subway fan-dom to the next level - I really think of Subway as a champion food option."

The first commercials for Subway featuring Michael Phelps will appear in early 2009.

No word on Jared's job security, but it is certainly safe to say that Michael is getting more gold than Jared for his endorsement.

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Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Japan Quarter Pounder Store

The "Quarter Pounder Stores" that have popped up in Japan have been getting a lot of attention in the blogosphere lately.

The black and red generic stores carry no iconic McDonald's arches are any other branding and have only 2 items on the menu, the Quarter Pounder with Cheese Meal and the Double Quarter Pounder with Cheese Meal (both are served with French Fries and Coke or Coffee).

So what's the story on these 2 restaurants?

McDonald's has been in Japan for quite some time, of course, but their iconic Quarter Pounder with Cheese has never made it on to the menu in Japan. These 2 Quarter Pounder Stores serve as a promotional marketing announcement of the Quarter Pounder's introduction into Japan's fast food market.

The restaurants gave away Quarter Pounder t-shirts on the day they opened (November 1) and are running a promotion on their website ( for a group of 20 people to win a trip to and tour of the US.

I've received an e-mail from Junichi Kawaminami of McDonald's Japan Corporate Relations. He writes:
"McDonald's Japan is running a teaser promotion before a new product launch which is to be announced in the not too distant future in Japan. The Quarter Pounder store is a part of the promotion and is designed in a black and red colors with chic black furniture generating a fashionable atmosphere with no McDonald's logos.

"The Quarter Poudner store is run by the Quarter Pounder Secretariat Office for a limited period of time during the promotion. It is not a new restaurant concept or a new brand design that McDonald's is examining or testing.

"Two Quarter Pounder stores were opened in downtown Tokyo, Omotesand and Shibuya East stores at 11:00 AM of November 1. They serve two meal menus only:
  • Quarter Pounder with Cheese Meal: 500 yen - promotional price (with French Fries and Coke or Coffee)
  • Double Quarter Pounder with Cheese Meal: 600 yen promotional price (with French Fries and Coke or Coffee)
"On November 1st, 2nd and 3rd, first 1000 customers received "Quarter Pounder" T-shirts as grand opening gifts and 500 people lined up at the Omotesando stores afer the opening time. The Quarter Pounder Secretariat Office is running a sweepstake to win US Tour for 10 pairs/20 people to win, promoted at the stores and on its official web site.

"With this promotion, the Quarter Pounder Secretariat Office is inviting the Japanese consumers to try the authentic hamburger, Quarter Pounder, originated in the US of great taste with juicy quality beef, establishing high awareness in Japan through the media and words of mouth among those with arousing curiosity.
Neil Duckett has some great photos of the interior of the store at his blog.
The Quarter Pounder Store story also broke on A Hamburger Today, Fast Food Fever! and McChronicles.

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Tuesday, November 18, 2008

McNuggets 25th Anniversary & Fan Site

McDonald's has launched a fan-site for Chicken McNuggets today (11/18/08) at in celebration of the McNugget's 25th anniversary.

The Nuggnuts fansite links to the McNuggets Facebook site, a Nuggnut Hall of Fame and the Nuggnut Pledge, which reads:
I, [state your name], do solemnly swear, that I am totally into Chicken McNuggets. I pledge to eat lots of McNuggets, especially when hungry, in any way I see fit. I understand that it's perfectly cool to write songs about McNuggets, to take pictures of ones that look like famous people, and to videotape them dancing. I promise to tell anyone who will listen about my passion for dipping, popping, dunking, sharing, sneaking and generally just bowing down in awe to original tender, juicy white meat Chicken McNuggets, even if it makes me sound like a paid spokesperson. Which is a job I would actually love. Because I'm a Nuggnut, and proud of it. Sincerely, [your name again].
“McDonald’s Chicken McNuggets have a vocal and enthusiastic fan base,” said Marta Fearon, director of marketing for McDonald’s USA. “We knew there was no better way to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Chicken McNuggets than by embracing these fans and inviting them to share their passion with others.”

There's been much guessing over the years about what is really in a Chicken McNugget... it is truly considered the mystery meat of fast food.

To counter this perception, McDonald's has gone out of their way to reassure us all that the McNugget is a pure and healthy product by sending their Moms' Quality Correspondents to experience and report on the McNuggets trip "from farm to Happy Meal."

I think you should decide for yourself and even if you can't follow the chicken from the farm to the restaurant, you can at least know what's in the final product. Excluding natural and artificial flavoring components (which are considered trade secrets!) here are the rest of the indrediants in a Chicken McNugget (as supplied by McDonald's):

White boneless chicken, water, food starch-modified, salt, chicken flavor (autolyzed yeast extract, salt, wheat starch, natural flavoring (botanical source), safflower oil, dextrose, citric acid, rosemary), sodium phosphates, seasoning (canola oil, mono- and diglycerides, extractives of rosemary). Battered and breaded with: water, enriched flour (bleached wheat flour, niacin, reduced iron, thiamin mononitrate, riboflavin, folic acid), yellow corn flour, food starch-modified, salt, leavening (baking soda, sodium acid pyrophosphate, sodium aluminum phosphate, monocalcium phosphate, calcium lactate), spices, wheat starch, whey, corn starch. Prepared in vegetable oil ((may contain one of the following: Canola oil, corn oil, soybean oil, hydrogenated soybean oil with TBHQ and citric acid added to preserve freshness), dimethylpolysiloxane added as an antifoaming agent).

Hey, Chicken is listed first! And they must use a lot of it since McDonald's is anxious to point out that, "Starting in December, McDonald’s will be featured on the National Chicken Council’s consumer Web site,, as part of a “Showcase of Chicken” feature on McDonald's."

McDonald's has supplied Fast Food News with this McNuggets Timeline:
  • 1983 McDonald's introduces Chicken McNuggets to its national menu. The national launch is supported by the "McNugget Mania" advertising campaign.
  • 1984 - Chicken McNuggets are introduced in Canada, Japan, France, and Germany.
  • 1986 - McNuggets Shanghai, accompanied by a pair of chopsticks, a fortune cookie and a choice of sweet and sour, teriyaki or hot mustard sauce, was introduced to the menu as a temporary promotional item.
  • 1988 - McDonald’s introduces the promotional product Fiesta McNuggets, which came with a collective coin.
  • 2003 - McDonald's switches to Chicken McNuggets made with all white meat to enhance the quality and flavor of the popular menu item.
  • 2008 - McDonald's celebrates the 25th anniversary of Chicken McNuggets by launching an online fan community for McNuggets enthusiasts at

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Wednesday, October 29, 2008

McRib Plays A Tune and Rings Your Cell

I know. It happens every year. But once again, we'll mention that McRib is back.

It is a love/hate thing. It seems nobody has a neutral feeling about this processed and pressed pork BBQ sandwich (with the fake ribs!).

This year McDonald's has teamed up with Myxer and Pandora to ad some musical and cellular excitement to the McRib experience.

Pandora is a great online music station that learns what you like and allows you to create your own stations with your preferences.

McDonald's marketing folks have set up 4 'stations' on Pandora: "Move Your Buns Soulful Ballads," "Tender Love Tunes of Today," "Saucy Love Classics of the 80's," and "McRib Country Flavor Classics."

When I checked out the "Move Your Buns" station, the first 3 songs were "Around the Way Girl" by LL Cool J, "My Adidas" by Run DMC, and "Have You Seen Her" by MC Hammer.

McDonald's has selected Myxer's Bullseye hyper-targeting service for the mobile phone portion of their McRib campaign.

You can text MCRIB to 69937 (MYXER) for the McRib content. Or you can just point your browser (phone or computer)

There you'll find some wallpapers and screensavers for you phone like the one above, or the "McRib Kiss" (on the right).

But if you're a McRib 'hater' instead of a McRib 'lover,' we thought we'd supply you with a sexy shot of a naked McRib 'patty' with its BBQ sauce washed off (below left), or a close-up of the inside of a McRib 'patty' (below right). These are from our McRib Deconstructed special a couple years back. Now these are some appetizing wallpapers!

McDonald's also has some Ringtones at Myxer. You would definitely have to be a McRib 'lover' to have this one on your phone! (Click 'Preview' to have a listen.)

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Wednesday, October 01, 2008

New Sonic TV Ads Mimic 'The Hills'

Sonic Drive-In has 14 new TV ads that mimic the MTV drama The Hills. The Sonic miniseries is called The Stalls and Pete and T.J. are still the standard characters in their customary seats in their car at Sonic.

The first ad in the 14 week series is below. The ads end with "to be continued." According to AdWeek, "in subsequent [ads] Pete and T.J. discuss banana pudding shakes some more and decide to move to Los Angeles to pursue romance, only to discover they've fallen for the same woman."

The Stalls even has its own web site ( with complete episodes, cast bios, and 'food from the show!'

From the 'season' promo on The Stalls site: "This season on The Stalls: the drama heats up for T.J. and Pete over a couple of Shakes and Blasts. Who knows what will happen on each episode. But one thing's for sure, intensity is definitely on the menu."

Sonic sponsors "Backchannel." The game that you can play while watching The Hills on MTV. Sonic also sponsors The Hills Finale Fantasy Sweepstakes which gives the winner a trip to The Hills finale and $1,000 cash.

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Monday, September 29, 2008

Little Thickburger Ads From Hardee's

Hardee's has an answer for that eternal question: "What would happen to a Thickburger if you threw it in a cold swimming pool?" (see the first video below)

Hardee's is promoting their Little Thickburgers. So five years after Hardee's introduced their 1/3 and 2/3 pound Thickburgers, they're introducing a 1/4 pound size for smaller appetites: the "Little Thickburger."

“Ever since we first introduced our signature line of Thickburgers in 2003, our research has consistently shown that people recognize and appreciate their superior taste and quality,” said Brad Haley, Hardee’s EVP of Marketing for Hardee’s restaurants. “The only complaint some people have ever had about our Thickburgers is that they were either too big or too expensive to order as much as they would like, particularly in this challenging economic environment. So, we created Little Thickburgers specifically for those people. Starting at just $1.99 and made with quarter pound, charbroiled, 100% Black Angus beef patties, Little Thickburgers may be smaller than the original Thickburgers, but they are definitely not small on taste.”

The Little Thickburgers start at $1.99.

The Little Thick Cheeseburger is 1/4 pound charbroiled Angus beef, American Cheese, tomato, lettuce, red onion, mayonnaise, ketchup, mustard and dill pickles on a sesame seed bun. It has 470 calories and 24 grams of fat, compared to the Original 1/3 pound Thickburger with cheese with 680 calories and 39 grams of fat, or the 2/3 pound Monster Thickburger with 1420 calories and 108 grams of fat. Complete nurtritional information for the new Little Thickburger with cheese:

Two of the ads for the new Little Thickburger campaign are below. They were created by Mendelsohn|Zien. They also brought you the (in)famous Paris Hilton Hardee's ad and the Fake Restaurant ads from earlier this year.

The 'Shrinkage' ad for the Little Thickburger:

The Badonkadonk / Badinkadink Little Thickburger version:

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Saturday, September 20, 2008

Arby's Agency Hijacks Atlanta Billboards

Adrants reports of ad agency Fletcher Martin hijacking billboards in the Atlanta area for their client Arby's.

The concept is to float balloons with the Arby's logo above the heads of people appearing on billboards (like local TV weather gals), in support of their "I'm thinking Arby's" campaign.

The "I'm thinking Arby's" thought ballon concept isn't new. When Arby's launched their new website in June 2006 visitors could create their own thought balloons with their favorite Arby's menu item.

This is a subtle campaign, and something Fletcher Martin is probably only doing in their HQ of Atlanta... a little guerrilla marketing fun for their creative department.

But we couldn't help thinking that maybe a custom 'thought balloon' like this one, although not as subtle, might have been even better.

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Thursday, September 11, 2008

Burger King's Seth MacFarlane Cartoons

Burger King has a new online advertising vehicle: "Seth MacFarlane's Cavalcade of Cartoon Comedy."

The short comic cartoons were created exclusively for Burger King. BK's 'The King' appears at the beginning of them.

Seth MacFarlane is the creator of the highly acclaimed and hilarious, animated US televisions series "Family Guy" and "American Dad!"

There will be new episodes each week. The first 2 appeared on YouTube yesterday, but you might also see them as mini-video ads on other web sites. And, of course, you can watch them below.

It is an innovative, and funny, way for BK to set itself apart in the fast food realm.

At the BK YouTube site, you can also enter the "Buy Seth Dinner Sweepstakes." The winner gets to buy Seth MacFarlane a meal at Burger King. (Click on "Buy Seth Dinner.")

The BK Calvalcade video is called "Super Mario Rescues The Princess." Here it is:

The second is called "A Dog on the $25,000 Pyramid." Watch, laugh, and enjoy...

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Tuesday, September 09, 2008

KFC Secret Recipe Publicity Stunt

KFC is making a big deal about moving Col. Sander's original, hand-written, top-secret "Original Recipe" to a new, more secure location. Clearly a way to get their name (their new name, KFC, not the original name, Kentucky Fried Chicken, since their afraid of the word 'fried' now) into the news cycle this week.

And I'm buying into it by writing about it!

KFC recently applied the recipe to their new chicken strips, so I'm sure that's what the publicity is for.

The recipe is being moved for the first time in 68 years.

The recipe and vials containing the herbs and spices used in the recipe will be locked in a briefcase that is handcuffed to a security expert who will board an armored car that will have a police escort to the new location.

Supposedly, only two company executives at any time have access to the recipe. The company doesn't release their name or title, and it uses multiple suppliers who produce and blend the ingredients but know only a part of the entire contents.
more here.

Update: It's pretty silly, but we'll tell you about it anyway. As part of this publicity, KFC now has a website where you can store your secrets. Yup, that's all it does. You type something in and it disappears. Whew!

UPDATE #2: The stunt is complete, the move as been made. You can watch the official AP news coverage of the event here. Better than the real news I guess, banks failing, prices rising, Obama v. McCain, Biden v. Palin, oh yeah, and a couple wars!

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Friday, September 05, 2008

Arby's Mini Snacks Online Ads

Arby's is marketing some new mini sandwiches and wraps as Mini Snacks.

Arby's is using an online advertising on sites like Yahoo! to promote the mini snacks.

The 'Snack Attack' ads are actually games where players grab as many Mini Snack sandwiches as quick as they can. Players can also select Mini Snack items to see their ingredients.

An example of a new Mini Snack item is the Italian Mini Wrap which has ham, salami and pepperoni combined with banana peppers, lettuce, swiss cheese and mayonnaise in a flour tortilla. It and the other Snack Attack items cost $1.69.

Said Cyndi Richardson, vice president of Arby's marketing: “The
products lend themselves to a younger consumer. We were
looking for a way to attract that younger consumer, and the Internet
was the place to go."

Other major fast food players like BK, McDonald's and Pizza Hut are already using online marketing to promote new products, but they also usually advertise the new items with TV ads, too. This Arby's marketing effort is limited to the web.

This is a marketing test for Arby's limited to Savannah, GA and Montgomery, AL, where Arby's has many company owned stores.

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Tuesday, September 02, 2008

BK's Cheesy Bacon Tendercrisp Ads

Two things about Burger King's ads for their Cheesy Bacon Tendercrisp Sandwich:
  1. They're strange. Really strange. And kinda creepy, too.
  2. They're basically the opposite of Chick-fil-a's use of cows in commercials. Chick-fil-a's cows cheer for us to "Eat Mor Chikin." BK's cows get mad when we eat chicken instead of them!
Here are 2 television ads for BK's Cheesy Bacon Tendercrisp Sandwich:

By the way, the only thing scarier than the TV ads for this sandwich are the 4 grams of trans fat they have!!

Burger King's Cheesy Bacon Tendercrisp Sandwich (Tendercrisp chicken filet, bun, lettuce, tomatoes, American cheese, and 4 strips of bacon) has 720 calories, 280 calories from fat, 31 grams of fat, 11 grams saturated fat, 4 grams trans fat, 95 mg cholesterol, 2030 mg sodium, 68 grams carbs, 3 grams fiber, 9 grams sugars, 42 grams protein.
Hat tip to TVSquad

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Monday, September 01, 2008

Wendy's 'Never Frozen' Claims Justified

Wendy's "Always Fresh, Never Frozen" claims have been upheld by the BBB.

Burger King took issues, last year, with a claim Wendy's made in some of their advertising.

Two of the claims made in television advertising by Wendy's that were challenged were these lines:
  1. "If hamburgers were meant to be frozen, wouldn’t cows come from Antarctica? Wendy’s hamburgers are made with fresh never frozen beef. Who else can say that? It’s better than fast food. It’s Wendy’s."
  2. "So, Dad, you know Wendy’s is dedicated to using fresh beef that’s never been frozen do you realize what kind of commitment that takes? I mean, to vow to something and then to continue to deliver on that promise ... a promise is only good if it is kept. Wendy’s hot and juicy hamburgers are made with fresh, never frozen beef, that’s a promise. Its way better than fast food, it’s Wendy’s."
BK took their complaint to the National Advertising Division (NAD) of the Council of the Better Business Bueaus.

Wendy's supplied NAD with "a thorough explanation of how the process was specifically designed to process only fresh beef and why there is no danger of the beef temperature falling below the freezing temperature."

The NAD stated: "Following its review of the evidence in the record, including the affidavit, NAD found that the advertiser provided a reasonable basis to support the claim, "Wendy’s, Always Fresh, Never Frozen," with respect to its hamburger patties."

You can read the NAD's full report.

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Thursday, August 28, 2008

Meatatarians Viral Video from Wendy's

Wendy's has a new viral video circulating on YouTube.

The video shows a 'Meatatarian' head of lettuce violently devouring a Wendy's hamburger (see video below).

The video info links to A site that describes itself thusly:
The Highly Esteemed Council of Meatatarians is an establishment of meat lovers and eaters whose goal is to eat meat, and only meat, without the inclusion of other non-meat products, while celebrating meat with the utmost regard. Our goal is to continue our dominance atop the food chain and bring meat lovers to a new understanding of their nature, their calling to become true Meatatarians.
The "Meatatarians Unite!" offers to let you sign up to receive an e-mail (from Wendy's). The e-mail includes a link to a printable "Certificate of Meatatarianism."

It also has a link to which asks you to install their "coupon printer" software in order to print a Wendy's coupon.

Note: 'coupon printer' program is installed on your computer and is reported by some websites to track your browsing. I'm not installing it, and Wendy's should know better than to make us install something on our computer in order to print their coupons! (Heard of .pdf guys?) If you're brave enough to install software from an advertising company on your computer, let us know in the comments what the coupon is all about (or send us an e-mail).
[Update] Sandy writes:
It’s for $1 off The Baconator. Expires 9/27/08.
I’ve had the coupon printer add on installed for ages.
Lots of companies use it to make sure printed coupons are legit.

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Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Popeye's changes name & logo

Back December of 2006 we wrote about Popeye's spin-off franchise, "Popeye's Louisiana Kitchen."

Now it seems that Popeye's is going to re-brand their primary franchise, "Popeye's Chicken and Biscuits" as "Popeye's Louisiana Kitchen."

The "brand transformation" will include new menu items, national ads, and a new logo (pictured at right), in an effort to tie the brand to its Louisiana culinary traditions.

The change "reminds customers of the labor that goes into creating the brand's
authentic taste. Popeye's CMO, Dick Lynch, says "many consumers do not know the chicken is
marinated for at least 12 hours—-something he calls the Popeyes
Paradox, the company's ability to bring slow-cooked food to the
fast-food consumer."

Three new menu items already on the old Popeye's website are: the
Loaded Chicken Wrap, made with all-white meat chicken, red beans and
rice, and a cheddar tortilla; the Delta Mini, with all-white
meat chicken on a mini toasted bun with Delta sauce; and the Chicken
Biscuit, crispy all-white meat marinated in Louisiana seasoning on a
buttermilk biscuit. They are each priced at $1.49.

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Denny's late night Rockstar Menu

Denny's is going after the late night fast food crowd with their new Rockstar Menu.

The special late night only menu items were created by rock musicians.
"We teamed up with popular bands in an out-of-the-box way to develop a menu by rock stars for our rock star guests," said Mark Chmiel, chief marketing and innovation officer for Denny’s. "Music and late night are a part of the Denny’s DNA. Denny’s has been a late-night destination for musicians, fans, crews, and crowds for over 50 years, so it is natural for us to have them create the meal they would most like to eat."
Denny’s will try to appeal to its late-night crowd, from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m., with alternative rock music playing through the restaurant and servers wearing T-shirts and jeans instead of their usual uniforms.

The new late night Rockstar menu items (and the musicians who created them) are:
  • Taking Back Bacon Burger Fries, created by New York-based band Taking Back Sunday, combines two of the artists’ favorite foods – bacon cheeseburgers and loaded cheese fries – in a new, sharable way with familiar flavors of fries, cheese, hamburger, crispy bacon, onion, tomato, and pickles. They even top it off with ketchup and mustard.

  • Plain White Shake, by the Chicago band Plain White T’s, blends whole milk, vanilla ice cream, creamy cheesecake, whipped cream, and white chocolate chips creating a heavenly, drinkable dessert.

  • Heart on a Plate, by California rockers Eagles of Death Metal, starts with heart-shaped pancakes topped with raspberry sauce, hot fudge, strawberries, white chocolate chips, and whipped cream. The Heart-themed entrée – a tribute to their soon-to-be-released album “Heart On” – is served with crispy bacon and eggs any style.

  • The All American S.O.S. brings the timeless classic and hometown favorite dish of Stillwater, Oklahoma band, The All-American Rejects, to life with hamburger, cheese, grilled onions, and gravy on top of grilled Texas toast and hash browns.
You can find out more about Denny's Rockstar menu at

If you're an all-nighter and check this out, let Fast Food News know what you think.

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Monday, August 25, 2008

BK gets clever, swipes Big Mac

This ad is pretty clever.

It's a Burger King ad that has been around for awhile on posters and billboards, but it deserves mention for its the creativity.

"Silly Whopper, that's a Big Mac box," creatively tells us that Burger King's standard burger (the Whopper) is bigger than McDonald's biggest burger (the Big Mac).

The nutritional facts tell the same story, by the way....

The Whopper weighs 291 grams, the Big Mac weighs 219 grams.
The Whopper has 700 calories and 42 grams of fat.
The Big Mac has 600 calories and 33 grams of fat.

But here's the real surprise

The Whopper costs $2.59 and a Big Mac costs $3.09!
That's 100 more calories for 50 cents less!

These prices are the sandwich only price (no combo) at my local McDonald's and Burger King in Texas. -Photo credit

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Sunday, August 24, 2008

McDonald's Olympic Marketing

As a huge sponsor of the 2008 Olympics in China, McDonald's has undertaken various promotions around the globe.

In Australia, for example, McDonald's offered "Limited Edition Flavours of the Game" sandwiches celebrating the Olympics. For 2 weeks each they offered the McEurope sandwich, McAmerica bagel, McAfrica burger, McAsia wrap, and McAustralia burger (in that order). [some photos of the sandwiches]

Why don't we get these special McDonald's creations in the US?

The McEurope 'burger' was "crispy chicken fillet burger with shavings of parmesan cheese and traditional Napoletana sauce made from rich tomato, oregano and basil." [read a review]
The McAsia Wrap was fried chicken strips, tatsoi salad, cucumber, with sweet chilli sauce and mayonnaise, wrapped up in a tortilla (?).
The McAustralia Burger was a Pineapple ring, bacon, bacon, tomato, cheese, beef patty, lettuce with BBQ sauce.
The McAmerica Bagel was "a lightly toasted bagel with freshly cracked egg, premium rasher bacon and spicy ketchup." [photo by xamesm]

and then, the McAfrica Burger...

The McAfrica burger was withdrawn from McDonald's menu after some people pointed out that their are 12 millions starving people in Africa.

Click on the these McSandwiches to watch video reviews from down under by xReventonx: McEurope, McAmerica, McAfrica, McAsia.

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Thursday, July 24, 2008

McDonald's product placement IN the news

McDonald's has found another way to get in our heads. And they're doing it during the morning news!

2 cups of McDonald's iced coffee have been sitting on the news desk on the set of Las Vegas' Fox 5 TV News for the past few weeks.... just sitting there... no one ever touches them (because they're not filled with coffee but with something else that will hold up under the lights.

McDonald's is really making the push for part of Starbucks market, now that Starbucks is closing 617 stores in the US. And you've already read here that McDonald's coffee strategy is hurting Starbucks.

Maybe subliminal marketing like this is why. And what a revenue boost for the TV news.
Fox is starting its day with a “nontraditional revenue source,” KVVU news director Adam P. Bradshaw says.
But is it ethical... putting ads, not between the news, but IN the news?
Kelly McBride, the ethics group leader for Poynter Institute, the nonprofit journalism training organization, isn’t convinced. Product placement in a newsroom, she worries, represents the “slippage” of news into advertisement, a descent into a dark world where conglomerate companies control coverage.
quotes excerpted from an article in the Las Vegas Sun where you can read more.

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Monday, July 21, 2008

Giant Egg Signals Breakfast at McDonald's

McDonald's and their ad agency Leo Burnett have come up with another creative way to advertise and in this case announce when breakfast is being served. (Remember McDonald's sundial billboard and their living salad billboard?) This giant 3D robot egg cracks open from 6am to 10:30am...the hours that McDonald's is serving breakfast.

from a+.29:
"Leo Burnett Chicago created this awesome beyond words Giant Egg billboard for McDonald’s. It was installed last week across from Wrigley field in Chicago. The giant egg billboard starts cracking and opening up in the wee hours of morning. By breakfast time, the egg has already hatched, and you can see “Fresh Eggs Daily” written on the egg’s yolk. The egg stays open from 6:00AM till 10:30AM, to indicate the availability of fresh eggs during that time. Once the breakfast time is finished, the egg billboard shuts and stays closed as a whole egg till the next morning. The mechanical engineering of the billboard was handled by Prop Art Studio."
see more photos of the egg at A+.29
via psfk and DVICE

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Wednesday, July 02, 2008

McD's Big Mac chant remix promotion

McDonald’s USA has launched a national casting call inviting all consumers to submit a video or audio remix of the popular Big Mac chant. The winning remix will be featured in a new McDonald’s Big Mac commercial that will air at the end of July. Semi-finalists will be selected by a panel of judges and the winner will be chosen through an online voting system July 22.

The only requirement is that you use the famous phrase “Two all beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions on a sesame seed bun.” They have even prepared an audio kit with beats, loops and sounds you can download and use.

Visit to learn more and get started.

Here's an example of one by Christina Milian:

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Saturday, May 31, 2008

Wild BK Triple Whopper Ad from Japan

Check out this wild television commercial from Japan for Burger King's Triple Whopper.

The guy who covets another guy's Triple Whopper slithers across the restaurant floor like a snake to get it... and then eats it like a snake!

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Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Hardee's/Carl's Reality TV Ad Campaign

Hardee's and Carl's Jr. has a new ad campaign that's more creative (but less hot) than watching Paris Hilton wash a Bentley.

They set up a fake restaurant called "Grade A Restaurant." The 'bistro burger' restaurant, complete with hidden cameras, had staff and customers that were all actors. The "target" was brought to the restaurant by an "accomplice." The "target" was told about the high-quality bistro burgers on the menu ranging in price from $14 to $20. After enjoying their burger it was revealed to them that they had just eaten a burger from Hardee's.

In the video below, the "target" even says how much she hates Hardee's commercials!

More videos can be found at or on their YouTube channel.

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Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Free Southern Style Chicken at McDonald's

This Thursday, May 15, McDonald's is offering a free Southern Style Chicken Sandwich to everyone who purchases a medium or large drink.

You can get a free Southern Style Chicken Biscuit at breakfast (7am - 10:30am) and then you can come back and get a Southern Style Chicken Sandwich for lunch or dinner from 10:30am to 7pm.

McDonald's Free Southern Style Chicken Sandwich, May 15, 2008

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Monday, October 22, 2007

Taco Bell's 2007 World Series promotion

Last year, Taco Bell's World Series promotion was to offer a free taco to everyone in America if there was left-field home run during Game 3 of the World Series. After six innings with no home runs, Taco Bell extended the promotion to include any home runs.

There were no home runs in the game, but the sportscasters talked about Taco Bell and their promotion during the entire game giving Taco Bell some great exposure (although I'm sure it cost them plenty).

This year Taco Bell's World Series promotion involves stolen bases. Any stolen base during the entire World Series will earn everyone in America a free taco.

Taco Bell is using the slogan "90ft. to free tacos for America" for this promotion. 90ft. being the distance between bases on the baseball diamond.

Major League Baseball Hall of Famer Lou Brock, who stole a record 14 bases in World Series play (including an individual series record seven during the 1967 MLB World Series), will serve as Taco Bell's spokesperson. "Steal A Base, Steal A Taco" will also benefit a worthy cause -- a monetary donation of $20,000 will be made to the Boys & Girls Clubs of America.

If there is a stolen base, you can obtain your free Crunchy Seasoned Beef Taco on Tuesday, October 30, 2007 (if base is stolen in Games 1 or 2 on October 24 or October 25, 2007) OR November 6, 2007 (if base is stolen in Games 3-7, October 27, 28, 29, 31, November 1, 2007). (More details at

The good news for taco lover's: There has been at least one stolen base in every World Series matchup since 1990.

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Thursday, October 18, 2007

Parents scold McDonald's for 'selling sex'

QSR Magazine is reporting that a parents organization is suing McDonald's for it's "My Scene Barbie" promotion:
The Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood (CCFC) is demanding that McDonald's immediately end what it calls its "highly sexualized" My Scene Barbie Happy Meal promotion featuring "ludicrously proportioned" Barbies with micro miniskirts, halter tops, and rollerblades.

"It's bad enough that McDonald's continues to use toys to sell kids on junk food," says CCFC's director, Dr. Susan Linn, a psychologist at Judge Baker Children's Center. "But to lure young girls to its restaurants by promoting the worst sexualized stereotypes is reprehensible."
more at QSR Magazine...

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Friday, October 12, 2007

BK not meeting kids advertising pledge yet

I received an e-mail from Burger King today regarding my article below. My sincerest apologies to Burger King for making a critical error in reading their "Corporate Pledge" regarding advertising to children and healthy Kid's Meals for children.

I misread the date that the pledge is to begin. It is not for over a year: December 31, 2008.

The thrust of my article was that their pledge to consumers would begin fairly soon. This is not the case. it is 14 months away.

I am still concerned that Burger King is marketing 840 calorie Kid's Meals directly to children via their web site, but they certainly have not broken their promise or violated their pledge. At least Burger King has made a pledge to improve this in the future. That's more than most other fast food restaurant chains have done.

Here is the complete text of the e-mail I received from Burger King:

Dear Fast Food News:
As a spokesperson for the Burger King Corporation, I wanted to provide clarification regarding your post on our timeline for enacting our advertising pledge. If you refer to our Pledge, you’ll see that we’ve actually committed to updating our Kids Meals and limiting our advertising by December 31, 2008 (not January 1, 2008, as you state).

We are fully committed to taking positive steps to provide children with new and innovative food and beverage products that will provide more nutritionally balanced menu options for kids. But developing and distributing new products to thousands of Burger King restaurants across the country is a complex, multi-step process that can take months. That said, we are moving as quickly as possible and hope that we are able to meet that deadline even sooner, but want to make sure that we do it right. The January 1, 2008 date that you refer to is our commitment date for limiting advertising in schools, as well as limiting product placements in movies and other such media. While this commitment is part of our overall Pledge, it’s logistically easier for us to implement, and therefore we were able to set a more aggressive timeline for it.

I hope this helps clarify our timeline and reassures you that we are taking our pledge seriously. Please feel free to contact me with any questions.

Keva Silversmith
Corporate Communications
Burger King Corporation

Burger King announced their highly detailed pledge on marketing to children on September 7, 2007. The pledge is set to take effect in 79 days 444 days, on January 1, 2008 December 31, 2008.

They aren't there yet.

They've violated at least three of the five nutritional standards they set up for themselves in a new ad campaign.

On their new "Viva Pinata" web site, Burger King makes it clear that the site is aimed at kids and that it is advertising:

One of the features of the site allows kids to build their own kid's meal with standard items on the BK Kid's meal menu. This menu includes more healthy items like applesauce, milk and apple juice, but it also includes a double cheeseburger, Coca-Cola and fries.

Taken directly from Burger King's pledge: "the Kids Meal (consisting of an entrée, side dish and beverage) advertised in our National Advertising will provide, in total:
  • No more than 560 calories per meal;
  • Less than 30 percent of calories from fat;
  • No more than 10 percent of calories from added sugars."
"...all food pages of our company- owned websites that are primarily directed to children under 12 years old will be for Kids Meals that meet the Burger King Corporation Nutrition Criteria."

So let's take a look at one of the Kid's Meal options advertised on the Viva Pinata site (pictured below, left):
Double cheeseburger, small, salted fries, and a kid's Coca Cola. 840 calories, 378 calories from fat, (that's 45% of calories from fat*), 42 grams of fat, 87 grams carbohydrates, 36 grams sugars (that's 144 calories from sugars which is 17% of total calories*), 1410 mg sodium, 32 grams protein, 3 grams fiber.
840 calories is 280 calories over their pledged future limit of 560.
45% of calories from fat is 15% more than their pledged future limit of 30%.
17% of calories from sugars is 7% more than their pledged future limit of 10%

Even the 'healthy' Kid's Meal (that is the default combination on the website) doesn't meet all the guidelines of Burger King's future pledge.

The 'healthy' Kid's Meal (pictured above, right) consists of a four-piece Crown-shaped chicken tenders, Mott's strawberry-flavored applesauce, and Hershey's 1% lowfat milk It has 370 calories, 112 calories from fat (30% of calories from fat*), 47 grams carbs, 33 grams sugars (which is 35% of calories from sugars*), 610 mg sodium, 17 grams protein.

Burger King meets the total calorie limit of the guidelines with this meal and is right on the line with their percent of calories from fat, but 35% of calories from sugars exceeds their future pledge guidelines by 20%.

Sure, these meals are no worse than kid's meals offered by other fast food restaurants, but Burger King has promoted their pledge to parents about advertising food to their children.

What will they come up with in the next 79 444 days to meet the standards they've set forth for themselves?

Could the main thrust of this ad campaign be to remind kids of that double-cheeseburger they can get in their Kid's Meal even after January 1, 2008 when they won't be advertising it anymore?

We'll be watching.

Percent calories from fat: grams of fat multiplied by 9 for calories from fat, then divided by total calories for percentage (based on standard 9 calories per fat gram).
Percent calories from sugars: grams of sugars multiplied by 4 calories for calories from sugars, then divided by total calories for percentage (based on standard 4 calories per gram sugars).

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Ronald McDonald's creepy debut

I thought you might enjoy seeing this McDonald's television ad. It is the first appearance by Ronald McDonald, and he's played by long-time Today Show weatherman Willard Scott.

Don't miss the strange tray of food on his head and another attached to his waist (!) where, through the magic of television, burgers magically appear!

I'm not sure he's much less creepy today, but Ronald was certainly creepy back then!

As a modern day contrast you might also want to check out this TV ad from Japan featuring a sexy female 'Ronald' (there's a male version, too.)

So here it is, Ronald McDonald's television debut:

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Thursday, October 11, 2007

Wendy's social "hot, juicy burgers"

Wendy's new promotion and web site,, is an attempt at social burger marketing.

The site lets you upload a picture of your face which is then added to a customizable character with a red, Wendy's wig. You also give your character a slogan representing why you should receive free 'hot, juicy burgers' from Wendy's for a year. If people vote on your character/slogan and you receive points. More importantly, from Wendy's point of view, you also receive points when you refer friends to the site by supplying their e-mail addresses.

The site is pretty slick. It's easy to use and it's new and different. This promotion might work out well for Wendy's.

By the way, if you're feeling generous, you can vote for my character and slogan! Just follow the link (you get a custom link when you register) and find my character or your character and click on him/her to vote. That's my character pictured at the top of the post.

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Friday, October 05, 2007

Huge photoshopped burger

The fine folks at A Hamburger Today received a 'photo' from a retouching artist in Cincinnati. His employer has a well-known burger chain for a client. If nothing else, it is some great eye-candy, er, eye-beef, for your computer screen. But it also says something about the new, bigger lenses the ad agencies have had to purchase to photograph the bigger and bigger burgers some of the chains are coming up with!

Here's what the creator of this photoshopped image told A Hamburger Today:
I am a retouching artist in Cincinnati. One of our clients is a well-known burger chain. After seeing some of the strangest combos put to bun, I assembled this. The original is six feet tall. It is photoshopped from real sandwich combos.
—Rob in Cincy

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Wednesday, October 03, 2007

McDonald's living salad billboard

McDonald's has followed up their award-winning Chicago "Sundial" billboard with their new "Fresh Salads" billboard, also in the Chicago area.


McDonald’s Corp.’s latest effort to promote its health-conscious menu items takes advantage of the saying that the medium is the message.

Green lettuce has been planted to form the words “fresh salads” on a billboard in Wrigleyville near the intersection of Addison and Clark streets to promote its four premium salads.

[McDonald's ad agency's] creative team worked closely with a horticulturalist to create a billboard that could start with 1½-inch spouts and grow into lush leaves. The garden appears to be safe from being plucked apart by birds because there is no place for them to perch and peck.

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Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Wendy's controversial graffiti ad

Wendy's has a new ad that is being shown nationwide in movie theaters. It features graffiti artist "Siloette" spray painting her version of "Wendy" on a communal wall in Phoenix. (Watch the ad below.)

But one public servant isn't happy with the ad. Denver, Colorado City Councilwoman Jeanne Faatz has written a letter to Wendy's asking them to stop running the ad. She wrote, "Please do not make our community efforts to stop graffiti vandalism harder and more expensive than it already is."

Faatz pointed out that the city of Denver will spend over a million dollars on graffiti clean-up this year.

Denny Lynch, senior vice president of communications at Wendy's, said the ad celebrates Sillette's distinct style of art and that other videos in the ad campaign feature other styles of art.

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Sunday, September 30, 2007

McDonald's billboard in Yass

I'm sure this billboard looks perfectly normal to the citizens of Yass in New South Wales, Australia. But the rest of us might wonder what message McDonald's is trying to send....

via Fastfood Weblog

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Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Wendy's red wigs

In other Wendy's news, Wendy's has delivered 5,000 red wigs with ponytails (like the red hair of "Wendy" of the Wendy's logo). The wigs are being worn by employees. There are also cardboard cut-outs that customers can stand under for photos of themselves giving them the red-top look. This is all in advance of a web promotion set to kick-off next week.

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Sunday, April 08, 2007

KFC's American Idol stunt

It was only a couple months ago that KFC pulled a publicity stunt by announcing they had asked the Pope to bless their new fish sandwich.

Now they're trying to create buzz again by offering American Idol contestant Sanjaya Malakar a free lifetime supply of (pretty disgusting) KFC Famous Bowls if he dons a bowl hairdo.

KFC President Gregg Dedrick wrote to Sanjaya: “If you don a bowl hairdo during one of your next nationally televised performances, KFC will grant you a free lifetime supply of KFC Famous Bowls. We’re sure America will be as ‘bowled-over’ by your take on this classic look as they are by our KFC Famous Bowls.”

Good grief!

from TV Envy

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Wednesday, March 14, 2007

DQ FlameThrower ad a hit

Dairy Queen has unleashed a new TV ad touting their FlameThrower Grill Burger and the ad is getting rave reviews on YouTube. You can watch it below.

DQ's FlameThrower chicken sandwich comes crispy or grilled or you can get the 1/4 pound or 1/2 pound burger version. They all have pepper jack cheese, 2 slices of jalapeño bacon, tomato, lettuce and DQ's "serious" FlameThrower sauce.

What the ad doesn't mention, of course, is that all these sandwiches (except the grilled chicken version) have high amounts of trans fats (see below).

The 1/2 pound FlameThrower GrillBurger has 1030 calories, 650 calories from fat, 73 g total fat, 23 g saturated fat, 3.5 g trans fat (that's a lot!), 145 mg cholesterol, 2020 mg sodium, 41 g carbs, 2 g fiber, 9 g sugars, 53 g protein.

The 1/4 pound FlameThrower GrillBurger has 780 calories, 490 calories from fat, 54 g total fat, 14 g saturated fat, 3 g trans fat (again, that's a lot of trans fat), 90 mg cholesterol, 1490 mg sodium, 41 g carbs, 2 g fiber, 9 g sugars, 33 g protein.

The Crispy FlameThrower Chicken Sandwich has 840 calories, 510 calories from fat, 56 g fat, 11 g saturated fat, 5.5 g trans fat (that's huge; it's as much as the FDA recommends you have in a day), 100 mg cholesterol, 1860 mg sodium, 51 g carbs, 3 g fiber, 8 g sugars, 33 g protein.

The Grilled FlameThrower Chicken Sandwich has 580 calories, 320 calories from fat, 35 g fat, 8 g saturated fat, no trans fat (because it's grilled), 100 mg cholesterol, 1590 mg sodium, 53 g carbohydrates, 1 g fiber, 7 g sugars, 34 g protein.

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