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Burger King retires its royal pitchman

Bloomberg News / August 20, 2011

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CHICAGO - Burger King Holdings Inc. will air new commercials that won’t feature its mascot, the King, as the hamburger chain gears its advertisements to appeal more to families.

“Our marketing strategy and marketing approach has changed, and as a part of that, the King will not be used,’’ Miguel Piedra, a company spokesman, said in a telephone interview yesterday.

The television commercials will start this weekend and “will not feature the King,’’ he said.

Burger King, with more than 12,300 locations worldwide, hired New York-based ad firm McGarryBowen this year to create more family-friendly advertisements. The McGarryBowen commercials airing today will promote the California Whopper sandwich for $4.49.

The hamburger chain introduced the King in 1955 as a kid-friendly cartoon with curled hair and a red robe, according to the company’s website. In 2004, Burger King hired ad agency Crispin Porter + Bogusky, which created a following with commercials featuring the King as a silent, Renaissance-garbed figure.