Celebrity spokespeople[edit] Edit

A 2005–2006 viral advertising campaign by CP+B used model and actress Brooke Burke in a commercial in which she and The King went through a mock celebrity courtship. Paparazzi-style photographs and videos appeared in gossip columns and celebrity gossip websites.[57] The campaign followed their meeting on the set of the Whopperettes ad, dating, risqué shots of them at the beach, an engagement and summary break up.[58] Burke also appears as a playable character and cover girl in the Xbox 360 games PocketBike Racer and Big Bumpin'.[59] In the UK in 2009, CP+B and Cow PR launched a perfume, called Burger King Flame; Piers Morgan appeared in a poster campaign and a viral video.[60]

Media tie-ins[edit] Edit

Burger King's first major tie-in, and one of the first for the QSR industry, was the 1977 film Star Wars in which BK sold a set of glasses featuring the main characters from the film. From that point on, competition between the major QSR chains became an important part of advertising in the fast food industry; McDonald's partnered with Disney in the 1980s and early 1990s. In 1994 Burger King signed a ten-film contract with Disney, a venture that was very successful. Burger King promoted films such as Beauty and the Beast (1991), Aladdin (1992), The Lion King (1994), Pocahontas (1995), Toy Story (1995) and The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1996).[61] These cross promotions were rivaled only by McDonald's/Ty Beanie Babies cross-promotion in 1999–2000.

Burger King continued it partnership with Lucasfilm for the two subsequent films, The Empire Strikes Back (1980) and Return of the Jedi (1984). It also promoted the last film of the second trilogy, Revenge of the Sith (2005). Burger King lost the first run tie-in rights to The Phantom Menace (1999) and Attack of the Clones(2002), to Tricon Global (KFC, Taco Bell, and Pizza Hut) but had an extensive tie-in with the DVD release of the two trilogies in 2006. In 2008, Burger King again partnered with Lucasfilm and Amblin Entertainment for the release of the film, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.[62]

Another long running Burger King tie-in partnership has been with 20th Century Fox's property The Simpsons. Burger King's first promotion with Fox began in 1990, when the show was launched as a full-time series. Burger King sold a set of 8-to-12-inch (20 to 30 cm) dolls featuring each member of the Simpsons family. Other Simpsons promotions included a British Kids Club toy in 1998, 2000 and 2001; a Halloween-themed Kid's Club toy in 2001 and 2002, a summertime special at Hungry Jack's in 2001 and The Simpsons Movie in 2007.[63] As part of the promotion for the Simpsons Movie, CP+B produced a commercial with a Simpsons version of the King that had yellow skin, an overbite and four fingers. A website allowed people to make a "Simpsonized" version of themselves from uploaded pictures.[64]