BK & Seattle’s Best – a Lesson for Marketers

“We’re #2, we try harder” is a marketing strategy that has served Avis well for years.  This morning I saw a corollary to that strategy, “we’re #16, we don’t even bother to try.”

In the past couple weeks, Burger King, who has done an excellent job marketing recently with “The King”, has spent a lot of money advertising  for Seattle’s Best Coffee.  The big push is for “Free on Friday,” a take on the old, try it once and you’re ours strategy that works so well for heroin dealers in the hood.  The problem here is this: if you’re product can’t back up your claims, you’re sunk.  In this case, phase two of the marketing plan better be “we’ll pay you to drink it.”

The brew is a dark, foul concoction with strong overtones of varnish and the peaty hint of cow manure, subtly juxtaposed by an acerbic tinge of kerosene.  For their part, Burger King provides the perfect accompaniment by failing to instruct their employee-bots on the correct regional definition of the word “regular” which, at least in the NE vernacular, implies the presence of cream and sugar.  Not only did they not correctly install the accouterments, they failed to provide them in the bag so that I might correct their error.

The short version is this: the only thing this stuff might be “best” at is removing paint.  Or perhaps opening a gastric ulcer in those unlucky enough to imbibe it.

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