There is news in the QSR business, at least as it pertains to advertising. (BTW, QSR is a set of initials I hate almost as much as I hate the Acronym COBRA, for the health insurance offered when you're unemployed. There's nothing Quick about fast-food places. There's no Service. And they're not Restaurants.) Burger King has switched its advertising agency from Crispin Porter Bogusky to McGarry-Bowen.
More importantly, Burger King has decided to target not slacker-hipster 23-year-olds, but instead to market to where the discretionary income is: moms.
I could give a rat's ass, really, about the work coming from McGarry-Bowen, now that they have assumed the account from CPB. Outside of the counter people being naked clones of Heidi Klum, nothing could compel me to eat in a QSR. Even if I were trapped in a bus-station at night with nothing else open, I'd do without.
What's interesting to me in all this is the switch from targeting the cool kids to targeting people with money.
For at least my whole lifetime, and it's certainly gotten more egregious in the last decade or so, advertisers and their agencies have acted as if the whole world were 20 and puerile.
In fact, looking at slumping companies like Cisco and HP underscores this myopia. Each decided it wasn't enough to supply the billions of dollars of infrastructure modern corporations demand. They each decided they wanted to be cool like Apple. And being cool has hurt them. Cisco's taken a bath on its Linksys and Flip purchases. And HP is selling its personal PC business and scrapping its tablet after selling something in the neighborhood of 14 machines.
I've said it before and I'm sure I'll say it again. Cool is not a strategy. Young and hip is not an end-all and be-all.
I don't know if Burger King's shift augers a bigger movement in the industry--a growing-up. I don't even know if it will be good for Burger King which has been slumping almost as long as they've been in business.
But it would be nice to see different criteria emerge than cool.