Burger King, often abbreviated as BK, is the world's second-largest fast food chain and competitor of Jack in the Box.
The company began in 1953 as Insta-Burger King, a Jacksonville, Florida-based restaurant chain. After Insta-Burger King ran into financial difficulties in 1954, its two Miami-based franchisees, David Edgerton and James McLamore, purchased the company and renamed it Burger King. Over the next half century, the company would change hands four times, with its third set of owners, a partnership of TPG Capital, Bain Capital, and Goldman Sachs Capital Partners, taking it public in 2002. In late 2010, 3G Capital of Brazil acquired a majority stake in BK in a deal valued at US$3.26 billion. The new owners promptly initiated a restructuring of the company to reverse its fortunes.
The Burger King menu has expanded from a basic offering of burgers, French fries, sodas, and milkshakes in 1954, to a larger, more diverse set of product offerings. In 1957, the Whopper was the first major addition to the menu; it has since become Burger King's signature product. Conversely, BK has introduced many products which failed to catch hold in the marketplace. Some of these failures in the United States have seen success in foreign markets, where BK has also tailored its menu for regional tastes. From 2002 to 2010, Burger King aggressively targeted the 18–34 male demographic with larger products that often carried correspondingly large amounts of unhealthy fats and trans-fats. This tactic would eventually come to hurt the company's financial underpinnings and cast a negative pall on its earnings. Beginning in 2011, the company began to move away from the previous male-oriented menu and introduce new menu items, product reformulations, and packaging as part of 3G Capital's restructuring plans of the company.
The 1970s were the "Golden Age" of Burger King advertising, but beginning in the early 1980s, the company's advertising began to lose focus; a series of less successful ad campaigns created by a procession of advertising agencies continued for the next two decades. In 2003, Burger King hired the Miami-based advertising agency of Crispin Porter + Bogusky (CP+B). CP+B completely reorganized Burger King's advertising with a series of new campaigns centered on a redesigned Burger King character accompanied with a new online presence. While highly successful, some of CP+B commercials were derided for perceived sexism or cultural insensitivity. New owner, 3G Capital, terminated the relationship with CP+B in 2011 and moved its advertising to McGarryBowen to begin a new product oriented campaign with expanded demographic targeting.
Relationship with Jack in the Box
- In a series of commercials in the mid-1990s, Jack Box challenged the heads of McDonald's and Burger King to call a phone number and make a pledge to change their ways. When he tries to call Burger King directly, he is informed it would be a long-distance call, and he sarcastically remembers that Burger King was owned by a British company at the time (Diageo).
- A 2002 commercial featured Jack at the "Home of the Voppers" (a family with the surname "Vopper") and having them try his food, which they compliment.
- A 2009 commercial featured Jack standing outside a Burger King restaurant and criticizing their "have it your way" slogan, daring Burger King to "do something about it" whilst tearing the sleeves off his business suit to reveal his muscles.
- In a 2009 podcast interview with Adam Corolla, Jack insinuates the Burger King mascot known as "The King" is bisexual, citing his attire (tights, felt shoes and a cape). Carolla jumps in with a tale of the King buying a drink for a male friend of his in Canada, though this claim cannot be verified.
- Richard Sittig, the creator and voice of Jack, accused Crispin Porter + Bogusky (CP+B) of copying his character in a 2008 interview with Adweek: "I think [Jack spots] work so well that Burger King went out and pretty much copied it with the King. And now the King also has a son... How many plastic-headed characters whose facial features don't move can you have in the hamburger category before it becomes a rip-off? That's a little close."
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