So the client looks at the proposed budget for the TV spot- and swallows hard. Those are big numbers- especially on the FX (effects) – green screen, miniatures, models etc- big cast- and then- they see- almost as much cash to make a “Making of the spot” documentary- and the clients says “Over my dead body.”
Scene from the So the agency account exec whips out a pistolo, shoots the CMO and off they go to make the spot- plus the documentary- which by the way- is only available online (not even on the clients site- click image on right to view in a new window)- and you have what Ad Age calls the most liked spot of the month: The Burger King Stackers spot- made by the hottest shop on the planet: Crispin Porter + Bogusky.
So- was this little documentary a wasteful indulgence? Not if it gets people to sit through 3.5 minutes of entertainment featuring your brand.
Would this have happened on a conventional compensation plan- where no media is bought to run this bit of agency extravagance- no. Would the brand have the buzz that BK is enjoying now? No. Is there hope for other fast food feeders to still own a piece of the “Meat head” market segment of men, aged 18-25 who are likely to eat fast food 3+ times per week? Not if you play it safe, and worry about offending some segment of the market. I can just hear a brand manager at P&G worrying about offending small people with this spot. Hence, P&G hasn’t been able to master the buzz machine of the Internet.
There is a burning question on my mind about Crispin’s Internet delivery strategy:

  • Are they purposefully avoiding putting work onto the client site so that it doesn’t seem to be delivered by the client (as a sort of distancing mechanism) and forgoing the measurement tools from the site stats-


  • is it that they don’t care about utilizing the information that can be gleaned from having the customer on their own server- watching where they go- and what they do?

To someone who believes in the power of webstats to provide insight into customers minds- the first option seems reckless. However, if the focus is on velocity of concepts- which seems to be a key to Crispin work (the factory concept)- measurement doesn’t matter- until they have a client that is actually selling online (like Gateway- who didn’t listen to their advice to streamline their product lines).
Either or- how a client justifies the expense of these can only be by one method- have sales increased – and word on the street is that Burger King is seeing results at the registers. Was it worth the extra money- absolutely, would most clients spend the extra money- no.
What do you think? Is Crispin missing out on opportunity to connect with customers by using Google video to distribute content instead of their own site?