It seems as though Burger King and Crispin Porter + Bogusky couldn’t survive the 7-year itch. It was announced today that the quick-service chain's AOR partnership, formed in 2004, has ended.
The two companies released a joint statement about the decision:
“Burger King Corp. and Crispin Porter + Bogusky have enjoyed a tremendously successful relationship over the past seven and a half years. During that time, our creative partnership resulted in countless innovative and engaging campaigns for the BK brand. We are incredibly proud of all that we have accomplished together, but have mutually decided that now is the right time to part ways. We are fans of each other’s work and wish each other much success in the future.”
Crispin Porter is credited for creating some of Burger King’s most unusual marketing schemes, including Flame, BK’s meat-scented body spray, the Subservient Chicken, and the award-winning Whopper Freakout.
The latter campaign earned Crispin Porter + Bogusky Creativity’s Agency of the Year recognition. Whopper Freakout fooled customers into believing the Whopper had been taken off the menu and captured their reactions in a series of TV ads as well as an online film.
But the agency also has been criticized for some of its BK strategies. In 2009, Crispin spearheaded a program called the “Whopper Sacrifice Challenge,” which offered a free Whopper for those who unfriended 10 people from Facebook.
Burger King pulled the promotion after Facebook complained.
Ultimately, however, Crispin’s biggest contribution to the Burger King message was the resurrection of its iconic King. Although his silent, perpetually smiling character has been described as “creepy” by some, others have recognized The King for bringing long-awaited consistency to the brand.
The AOR shakeup isn’t likely to be the last at The Home of the Whopper as time will only tell if The King fades back into obscurity.