Fast-Food Giants Celebrate Anniversaries Of Iconic Products

It's anniversary mania. Arch rivals Burger King and McDonalds are each launching promotions around product birthdays: BK's Whopper is 50, and McD's Egg McMuffin breakfast sandwich is 30.

McDonald's is leveraging the date to launch a new line, the $2.49 McSkillet Burrito, which it is calling a made-to-order breakfast burrito of scrambled eggs, sausage, potatoes, veggies and sauces wrapped in a flour tortilla. The new product is the first breakfast item since McGriddles four years ago. The company says it has garnered a 42% boost in sales of breakfast items since 2002. A company rep says PR activities are planned.

To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Whopper sandwich, Burger King is putting the sandwich and the "Burger King" figure in Madam Tussauds in New York's Times Square.

And BK will run a series of TV spots via Crispin Porter + Bogusky, Miami that focus on peoples' reaction to "Whopper deprivation." Also on deck:, which shows out-takes from the ads. The campaign launches next week.



Separately, Burger King is looking to increase diversity of its franchisees and suppliers. The company, which this summer began its first corporate diversity campaign featuring real employees and partners, recently expanded the push with a multilingual media buy. New creative will break in coming weeks.

The campaign--"Real People, Real Success," which aims to tout the company's inclusion policy--is also the first from BK's corporate diversity and inclusion ad and PR agency of six months, Republica.

The campaign initially ran in organizational circulars and publications; it broke during the National Council of La Raza's national conference in Miami in July.

The ads show Hispanic, African-American and Asian franchisees and suppliers. One highlights a Cuban-American businessman who began as a BK restaurant employee and now owns almost 40 BK restaurants. Another features the story of a Haitian-American franchisee who owns several stores in Texas.

Jorge Plasencia, chairman/CEO of the Miami-based Republica, says the newest ads will feature Asian-American and Hispanic franchisees and suppliers. He adds that for now, the campaign is limited to print advertising.

"We are working on the next phase; the campaign is elastic, because we can continue to add [BK employees, franchisees and suppliers] who have been successful. That's the focus: to keep it going."

The ads are running in a host of magazines like Hispanic Enterprise, Poder, Black Enterprise and Asian publications. "Right now we think it's very strong in print and we want to keep it that way," says Cirabel Lardizabal Olson, director of inclusion and external affairs for the Burger King. "But we are still reviewing the final media plan."

Lardizabal Olson says the purpose of the effort is to lure more suppliers and entrepreneurs. "It's a recruiting tool," she says. "We are reviewing the media plan now, but we are putting ads in publications that target suppliers, entrepreneurs and leaders."

She says BK's supplier base is at a record high. "We continue to work with the purchasing coop, and internally, with anyone with decision making power to increase those numbers in field teams, operations, franchising and development."

Lardizabal Olson adds that ultimately, the effort is reflects brand positioning. "This is completely tied to our consumer base. The most loyal Burger King customers comprise a very diverse consumer base. We want to make sure our family looks like the consumer base we have."

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