After a year-and-a-half long stint with McGarryBowen, Burger King has named Mother, New York, its lead creative shop in the U.S., rolling out a series of ads that introduce more of a human element to the brand's advertising.
The messaging from McGarry was standard food porn, full of close-up shots of veggies and patties on the grill. Three spots from Mother bring people into the mix, introducing what the brand says will be a recurring cast of characters.
In one [above], BK customer-service team members guzzle its new coffee, getting amped up with no fear of scalding their tongues, while in another [below], the workers look on in awe as a BK chef named Faustin fastidiously assembles a bacon gouda breakfast sandwich.
Mother was already on the fast-feeder's roster. Months after Burger King named McGarryBowen its lead creative agency in 2011, the chain added independent Mother, as well as Ogilvy offshoot David, to its general-market roster. It had also tapped Pitch, which had already been handling kids' marketing, as an official general-market roster shop.
"During the past year, Mother distinguished itself by demonstrating a keen understanding of the Burger King brand essence and its guests," Burger King Corp Exec VP-Global Chief Marketing Officer Flavia Faugeres said in a statement. "The agency presented BKC with finely honed original and innovative concepts that resonated with all of our audiences and has emerged as the one best-suited to take the brand to the next level. We are happy to be expanding our creative and productive partnership and are excited about the prospects for collaboration this year."
"We wanted to create a sense of fun and family with the introduction of the new recurring characters who all consider Burger King their home," said Mother Creative Director Dave Clark in a statement. "We thought, what better way to launch the brand's new breakfast items than with the cast we hope will resonate with viewers and put a smile on their faces."
In 2011, Burger King spent $304.8 million on measured media in the U.S., according to Kantar Media.
Creatively speaking, the work is still a world away from the more innovative efforts the brand had seen during the Crispin years, which included stunts like Whopper Freakout, Whopper Sacrifice and Subservient Chicken. Those efforts were focused on young men, a demographic believed to be "superfans" of the restaurant.
That said, the Burger King credited recent sales success with a broadened marketing approach.
Part of that approach included an menu-expansion campaign from Mother for salads, smoothies and wraps featuring celebrities such as Sofia Vergara, David Beckham and Jay Leno. One of those, a spot starring Mary J. Blige, was criticized for feeding into racial stereotypes and was pulled.