When Great Advertising Does Not Equate to Great Marketing

Crispin Porter + Bogusky is one of the hottest ad agencies around. One brand that has benefited noticeably from the creative influence of CP+B is Burger King. The brand was in shambles when CP+B became its agency five years ago. At the time, CP+B was BK's fifth ad agency in four years, not a way to create continuity of brand meaning! Since becoming BK's agency of record, CP+B has received accolades for work such as Subservient Chicken, The King character, and Whopper Freakout.

What is the one thing that CP+B has not done for BK? Gain market share. According to figures in an Advertising Age article, during the period 2003-2008 McDonald's has seen its market share grow almost 3% to 46.8% while BK slipped 1.6 points to 14.2%. These numbers are a painful reminder that marketing is much more than advertising. McDonald's has outperformed BK in targeting value conscious consumers. Also, McDonald's has invested heavily in remodeling stores and adding coffee bars to compete with Starbucks and Dunkin' Donuts. McDonald's has elevated the experience of visiting many of its locations. BK frequently comes under criticism for lackluster service and less than clean restaurants.

Building a great brand entails managing all customer touch points. Advertising is certainly one of those touch points, and the BK/CP+B partnership has made great strides in this area. BK has much work to do to make the overall experience of visiting a BK better. If that occurs, BK's relevance among quick service restaurant patrons will rise and result in BK being a more viable competitor to McDonald's.

Ad Age - "What Crispin's Lauded BK Work Doesn't Do" Gain Ground on MCD's"

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