We all remember the creative advertising campaign featuring the "creepy king", who appeared in strange places and did very strange things. The trouble with this several-years-long strategy was that the commercials really had very little to do with food. It seemed that whatever message it was that Burger King was trying to convey was utterly lost in the weirdness of the ads. After lackluster results, the agency was canned, and a new agency hired to employ a new strategic direction.
The move away from appealing to young men, who are frequent fast food consumers as a group, has resulted in a broader market appeal. New menu items such as wraps, salads, and smoothies have made the company look more like McDonald's, which is probably a good thing.
Will the changes be enough to reclaim the crown Burger King recently lost to number two player Wendy's? In addition to the new creative strategy and new menu items, it will also help matters that the company is converting many of its stores from corporate-owned and operated stores to independently-owned franchises. Independent owners tend to care more about their businesses than corporate managers because they own the stores, and so the overall product should improve. Sales are up, so the king is off to a good start.