Unbeknownst to me until last weekend, Burger King is raising a big fuss to celebrate the 55th year of its Whopper sandwich. I’ve been known to patronize their restaurant from time to time, so imagine my delight when I saw that they’re splashing their old logos all over their food packaging. Below are scans I took recently, featuring vintage Burger King logos of the past:
This is the original Burger King logo, and dates from the around very beginning of the franchise — once known as Insta-Burger King — in 1955 all the way through the 1960s. You can get a larger version here.
Here’s the next version of the mascot — apparently also known as Kurger Bing according to Wikipedia — which debuted in 1971. He lasted until the late ’70s, when he was replaced by the more realistic-looking Marvelous Magical Burger King, who ruled over the Burger King Kingdom. The larger version of this is here. Sorry for the imperfections in the middle — this was scanned from a bag.
Here we have two 1974 Burger King ads, both from the same “Have It Your Way” campaign. They both feature BK employees wearing the same groove-tastic uniforms, and they were both shot at the same location. But see if you can spot the subtle difference in the way the two spots are produced and targeted.
#1 — Super Soulful BK
#2 — Super White Bread BK
Now, crafting ads to appeal to a certain demographic is nothing new, so I’m not casting judgment here. All I’m saying is that if the BK from the first ad still existed today, I would eat there EVERY DAY. I would sit back, cram another Whopper down my gullet, and watch the Supremes-esque cashiers serenade me with their soulful voices. And I would be 300 pounds in no time.
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I’ve been known to enjoy one or two of these so-called “fast food” ham-burgers in my lifetime. I know they’re no good for me, and I don’t care. And sure, if something I order isn’t prepared correctly or just not available, I have gotten annoyed. That’s simply because I don’t suffer incompetence lightly.
But the level of betrayal exhibited by the people in Burger King’s new “Whopper Freakout” ad campaign is simultaneously amusing and disturbing. Some customers were confused and mildly upset (Emo kid at the 1:11 mark) by the loss of the Whopper, while some became wistful and nostalgic (goatee dude at 3:18). And when their precious Whopper is secretly replaced with Folgers Crys…ur, another burger, some customers became downright apoplectic (start at 5:30).
The campaign is supposed to prove that the Whopper is America’s favorite burger. Maybe, but you could probably get the same result in a McDonald’s by pulling the Big Mac. Of course, having Ronald McDonald emerge to give you a Big Mac is nightmare fuel, whereas getting served by The King is the coolest thing ever (oh, and that signed photo of The King at the 2:45 mark? My new life’s quest.).
I really hope most people’s priorities are not so out of whack that the loss of a fast food menu item would cause them so much pain (“World hunger? Iraq war? Meh. What, no Whopper?!?! Get the torches and pitchforks!!!!”). I also hope the people shown in the video are simply the most entertaining examples pulled from the day’s footage, and that most customers took the change in stride.