Burger King Sponsors Heavy.com Fake News Site

Broadband entertainment network Heavy has teamed up again with Burger King to create an offbeat online promotion for its new BK Stackers sandwiches on Heavy News, the news channel the site unveiled this week.

Heavy News extends the site's irreverent programming with a series of satirical videos that feature a sock puppet anchor, and reports on everything from a female Palestinian shock jock to a call from former Enron chairman and CEO Ken Lay in Hell.

As launch sponsor of Heavy News for the first three months, Burger King is incorporating its new campaign for Stackers--cheeseburgers that have up to four layers of beef and cheese--directly into the channel's video reports. Action figures of the mini construction workers featured in the ads serve as hand-held anchors on Heavy News sports segments.

The characters don't directly promote the hamburgers in reports, but the Stackers campaign logo has prominent placement on the the Heavy News home page. Mark Spates, vice president of Heavy brands, says Burger King approached the company about doing something quirky with the Stackers characters for its new campaign.

Burger King previously worked with Heavy to develop a series of short comedy videos featuring its costumed King to be downloaded to iPods. In choosing Burger King as launch sponsor for Heavy News, "we went with someone who understood the space," says Spates. The Stackers campaign was developed by ad firm Crispin Porter + Bogusky, which is responsible for the recent series of edgy Burger King ads that have gained cachet among the young hipsters that make up Heavy's audience.

Spates says the response by viewers to the Heavy News videos featuring the Stackers characters has been positive so far. "We're just trying to keep it organic and funny," he says. He expects to expand the roster of advertisers on Heavy News when the Burger King campaign ends. Existing Heavy advertisers include Nike, Diesel, and Sony.

Spates says he believes the news channel may draw a broader audience than its core 18-34 young male demographic, which in turn could bring Heavy a wider group of advertisers. "We think more advertisers will start to come in across all boundaries," he says.

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