Maybe Burger King’s “Fries King” stunt is catching me at the wrong time.

First, let’s deal with the Satisfries™.

It’s so debasing to force me to say something cute when I’m hungry.

“C’mon, say it. Say “Satis–frrrrrriiiies,‘” the irksomely cheerful counter gurl (she’s all gurl) says in my irritated imagination.

Thanks for not killing me as fast, BK, but …ugh.

And now you’re pretending to change your name.

I got this photo from USA Today, who says you can buy T-shirts with a “Fries King” logo.  It’s not clear whether they sell you a shirt if you tell them you’re only going to wear it ironically.
I got this photo from USA Today, who says you can buy T-shirts with a “Fries King” logo. It’s not clear whether they sell you a shirt if you tell them you’re only going to wear it ironically.

It’s so self-centric, it’s so “Wouldn’t it be funny if I wore my hair in a pony tail to prom”-ishly me-me-me, as far as stunts go.

A real stunt involves other people’s self-interest. A real stunt startles or alarms people for a minute.

Only a talented actor in a commercial is going to give you the open-mouthed “You got to be kidding” expression you’re hoping your fans have when they see that sign. The rest of us have too much to do. October is a real busy month for most of us.

Stop screwing around and make me a hamburger.

On second thought, I think I’m with Tim Nudd of Adweek: maybe your burgers aren’t your priority any more. Maybe this anonymous Twitter guy I’ve referenced before is right: you’re going for moms and healthy folk at the expense of your core customer. Or what I assume is the core customer willing to eat a bunch of greasy fries.

Even if the fries are some percentage lower in grease, or whatever the Satispun fries’ claim is.

I teach an advertising copywriting class at Butler University. We talked about Satisfries™. Every healthy-looking young person in the room (and I think most of them were your demo) agreed, They’re still fries. They’re not fooled.

Maybe this will work. Maybe it will pay off. Maybe “slightly better” is still better for enough people.

But that cute name.  That self-serving so-called stunt. Jeez. What happened to you guys?

I end with a quote from the great Bill Bernbach, one of the sixties-era ad men who still influences our thinking now:

Bernbach "Shapers of Society" quote. We can brutalize that society, or help lift it up.