Thursday, October 03, 2013

Publicity Stunt 

So, Burger King restaurants are trying a publicity stunt by renaming themselves, "Fries King." That's one way to advertise your product, but one wonders if it will move the needle for the struggling fast food chain.  So far, none of its publicity stunts have helped much.  Burger King is in an unenviable position of being a follower of McDonald's.  It doesn't have the size or the heft of the Illinois fast-food chain.  Burger King's franchisees are constantly unhappy and this has caused flailing in marketing programs.  Burger King might content itself with being a strong number two, but even that is a precarious position.  So, it tries this and that and something else looking for magic that never quite materializes.  Meanwhile, perceptions of the chain have turned negative and its public relations efforts have not been able to turn that around.  If you were the PR director of Burger King, what would you do?   I haven't the least idea of how to tackle it.  In my career, I've worked for franchise operations, and it became clear that marketing was pinned to the contract made with the franchisee.  If the contract failed to include a requirement, a franchisee somewhere at some time would go against company policy.  One guess is that Burger King is in this kind of bind.  It doesn't have sufficient control over franchisees to deliver effective marketing.  Whatever the reason, it's a tough challenge that has chewed marketers one after another.


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