Marketing From A Woman's Point of View

Category — marketing to women

Burger King Loses Marketing Machismo – Focuses On Women

There’s some interesting marketing changes going on in Burger King’s conference rooms that women may appreciate.  The voice of the woman consumer has proven to be more powerful than what Burger King has anticipated.

Over the last few months you may have noticed Burger King’s controversial commercials targeted toward their male crowd. From their Sponge Bob SquareButt commercial which portrayed their creepy BK character measuring women’s butt size with a phone book, to their Super Seven Incher ad with the woman opening wide to fit her mouth around their sandwich…they have definitely NOT been trying to attract a female crowd.

Michelle Miller, from Wonder Branding, and I have seen eye to eye on the Burger King marketing and thanks to her post last week she has made me aware of Burger King’s new idea.

According to this most recent AdAge article, Burger King CEO John Chidsey, has had an epiphany.  He has gone from the macho cry of naming his “Super Fan” the 18-35 year old testosterone abundant guy to now include…yep, you guessed it….WOMEN.

Oh, John, how we knew this day was coming. Note the change of tone in the two AdAge articles.

AdAge article, November, 2009:

“Mr. Chidsey has taken great care to make sure investors and analysts know the meaning of “super fan,” or the young, hungry men who frequent fast-food chains, and respond to the chain’s edgier advertising.”

Now, after a 3.3% drop in US & Canada sales, Mr. Chidsey would like to clarify what their super fan really is in the February 2010 AdAge article:

“To clarify, it’s not just 18- to 34-year-old males, it’s all ages and all household demographics, with over half of them having children. And interestingly, over 29% are 50 years of age or older.”

Well, at least John had his “cool” moment with the guys.  Now it’s time to focus on sales.  Sales which come from a large demographic of women, mothers and grandmothers.  Hmmm.

How does Burger King respond?  They have decided to promote a lower calorie “Positive Steps” combo that will be promoted in women’s magazines to begin trying to court their female super fan.

Excuse me, but this is just insulting.  First you exploit women in your commercials to your male buddies, measuring the size of our ass and fantasizing about a woman opening wide for your big 7 incher…and now the first thing you do to court us back is offer low cal menu items to reduce our butt size?

That’s like having your husband go to the strip club and coming home with a blender and a can of Slim Fast for you because he “loves you” and just wants to see you healthy and happy. WTF?

Burger King would have made a better choice to begin luring alienated women consumers back by first appealing to our pocketbooks.  Offering lower priced items and more value.  Sure, I want low cal choices and I want healthy options for my family, but I wouldn’t accept it from Burger King now if it was free.

Chidsey says, “There is a lot of mythology out there that somehow we are not able to get things done…But when you lay out the right business case and people see what’s in it for them, they’ll vote yes.”

No, John.  I vote no.

Time to check your business case again and lay out a proper road to recovering the angry women that wrote 10,000 letters in protest to your “edgy” commercial.  Time to stop living in your past college glory days and focus on the women of today’s market.

What say ye? Share your thoughts below in the comments section.

To Your Success,

February 15, 2010   15 Comments