Burger King Has Big Trouble But It’s Not Mary J. Blige – Forbes
If you’ve been reading the media or watching TV this week you’ve undoubtedly seen the controversy over the new Mary J. Blige spot for Burger King. The commercial has Blige covering her hit song “Don’t Mind” with the lyrics altered to gush over the new Ranch Crispy Chicken Snack Wraps in a Burger King restaurant.
The spot drew criticism from bloggers including Renay Alize on the influential Madame Noire who said it was a sellout, racist and offensive. That in turn prompted lots of mainstream media attention. Burger King and new agency Mother New York clearly did not anticipate the reaction to the spot the campaign also features Jay Leno and David Beckham and quickly pulled it. That looked like a panic move, as did the reactions from both Blige “if you’re a Mary fan, you have to know I would never allow an unfinished spot like the one you saw go out,” she told TMZ and Burger King who claimed the spot was withdrawn due to licensing issues. For anyone who has ever been involved with creating and distributing advertising, both explanations seem unlikely, to say the least.
Burger King’s nervous reaction to the spot points at a deeper truth that will linger long after this incident is forgotten: the chain is in deep trouble. It has had three owners over the past dozen years including two different private equity groups. It failed to meet the challenge of changing consumer tastes as chains like Subway and Starbucks grew their food business dramatically. Five years ago, Burger King was the second largest fast food chain in the U.S. Now Subway and Starbucks have taken the #2 and #3 positions.
Strange Random Fast Food Quote:
“Even if fast-food critics are well-meaning in their intentions, they are trying to fix a very legitimate problem, obesity, through illegitimate means. Overweight Americans will not find the solution to obesity in the courtroom, but in making wise choices to eat smaller portions and healthier foods wherever they go.” – Lisa Rickard
- Mary J Blige’s Burger King Ad Isn’t Racist (theroot.com)
- Burger King Apologizes to Mary J. Blige for Controversial Ad (rollingstone.com)
- Mary J. Blige in ‘racist’ Burger King ad (news.ninemsn.com.au)
- Mary J. Blige Cries “Fowl,” Blames Burger King For Chicken Controversy (fresh1027.radio.com)
- Mary J. Blige Cries “Fowl,” Blames Burger King For Chicken Controversy (wcbsfm.radio.com)
- Burger King: Mary J. Blige Ad Was ‘Unfinished’ (VIDEO) (blippitt.com)
- Burger King apologizes for controversial Mary J. Blige commercial (music-mix.ew.com)
- Mary J. Blige Blasts Burger King Over ‘Racist’ Commercial She Stars In (businessinsider.com)
- Burger King Apologizes To Blige Over Ad (kayceeweezy.wordpress.com)