Okay, now this is getting weird.
I very recently wrote about how brands need to be careful when it comes to including themselves in the public discourse, especially when it comes to things like, say, the anniversary of one of our nation's greatest tragedies. Well, one brand has chosen to go a a different route, and to do so in the most disconcerting way possible.
Via Advertising Age, fast food chain Burger King's new branding plan is basically to have their widely-regarded-as-creepy mascot The Burger King, in their words, "integrate into pop-culture moments that transcend sports." What does this mean? It means they will be paying to have The Burger King, well, show up at sporting events. And stand there. In a not-at-all weird or upsetting manner.
How can a plastic face look like it's moving?
And it means big money as well. According to AdAge, Bob Baffert, trainer of Triple-Crown winner American Pharoah, was offered $150,000 to let the Burger King stand near him at Belmont. Burger King also sponsored Floyd Mayweather in his fight against Manny Pacquiao to the tune of $1 million, in exchange for having The Burger King be a member of Mayweather's entourage. (Why Burger King would want to associate its brand with someone who, by many accounts, is a terrible human being is beyond me.)
Burger King's somewhat perplexing brand strategy is, to me, just an odd offshoot from the core idea of modern branding. The goal is to have your brand out there in the public realm, to have it discussed and dissected, to participate in the current cultural moment. I would simply add that maybe brands should figure out a way to do it that doesn't leave everyone scratching their heads, more confused than ever before.