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Burger King Picks an Agency; Wendy’s Loses CMO, Etc.

Filed under Advertising, Branding, Marketing, Menu

Did a starter pistol go off or a whistle sound? No sooner had May 31 become June 1 than a torrent of burger-chain marketing news and fresh advertising flowed in. In case you were working or otherwise engaged, a brief recap follows:
Burger King closed a major chapter in its storied marketing history by naming New York City shop McGarryBowen to succeed Crispin, Porter + Bogusky as lead creative shop on its approximately $300 million U.S. ad account. As new ownership took over last October and management changes took place, it was clear an agency review was coming. Now it’s done. New advertising is expected to be far more tasteful than some of CP+B’s efforts; Burger King hopes it also will be more effective in building sales. 

Barely a decade old, McGarryBowen already has been Ad Age’s Agency of the Year (2009) and has been on a new-business tear, adding assignments from Sears, Bud Light, Rustoleum, Advil, Chips Ahoy, 7UP and others. A bit of an old-school shop that was bought by Japanese agency Dentsu in 2008, McGarryBowen’s known for its commitment to close client service.

Ken Calwell

Wendy’s unexpectedly finds itself looking for a new chief marketing officer following the announced departure of Ken Calwell. He was named president of Vancouver, Wash.-based pizza chain Papa Murphy’s. Calwell leaves having rebuilt Wendy’s menu R&D efforts, which resulted in the successful Bacon & Blue Burger and the coming-this-fall Dave’s Hot ‘n Juicy Cheeseburgers. His most recent menu addition is the Berry Almond Chicken Salad. Watch a behind-the-scenes video on the making of ts current TV commercial here. Calwell dropped the chain’s former agency last year and brought in Kaplan Thaler Group.

McDonald’s didn’t fire an agency but lead shop DDB launched new TV spots in the U.S. for what’s being called “original” McNuggets. Makes one wonder if we’re being prepared for the arrival of Chicken McBites. The commercial uses the positioning line “Made Just for You,” which has been erroneously reported elsewhere as being used just for salads and other “healthful” menu items. Four new McNugget sauces were introduced as well.

In Germany, it’s not chicken nuggets but a larger-than-life-size chicken (at left) singing McDonald’s catchy “Easy Morning” breakfast song that take the spotlight. Give it a look ‘n listen.

● Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s broke new TV advertising for their CharBroiled Turkey Burgers that feature real turkeys instead of the curvy Miss Turkey, who appeared in initial advertising.

httpvh://● Perhaps as an homage to “The Hangover Part II” and other popular men-misbehaving movies, Jack in the Box broke a new TV commercial featuring hungover buddies reconstructing a lost evening with Jack. 

Red Robin’s doing the dumb-buddies-roadtrip schtick in its new TV commercial for the 5 Alarm Chicken sandwich and Summer Strawberry Salad it added, as previously reported.

● And A&W broke a bouncy new spot to back its recently added Bacon Ranch Crunch Burger.