When Branding Goes Wrong: Mary J. Blige x Burger King


Well doesn’t this make for the perfect case study.

By now, I’m sure you have seen the train wreck that is Burger King’s most recent attempt to advertise their new Crispy Chicken Wraps. To do so, the fast food giant thought it would be ideal to solicit help from Queen of R&B and Soul Mary J. Blige to “jazz up” the new snack. Take a look for yourself (thanks to The Boom Box and WorldStarHipHop)

So let’s stop and think about this scenario for just a second: multi-platinum recording artist + new fast food snack = great success, right? WRONG. There have been plenty of successful food campaigns with celebrities in the past (ex: NSYNC for Chili’s, Dwele for McDonald’s and Kim Kardashian for Carl’s Jr.) but the main problem with this is that Mary J. Blige is a Grammy Award winning artist that shouldn’t be singing about crispy chicken and lettuce wrapped in a tortilla…like this! Seriously, who in her PR camp said that this would totally be a good look for her? I understand times can be a little tough in the music industry, but at ALL times, artists must be aware of their endorsements that can either help or hurt their overall brand.

The Twitterverse was swarming last night as many people just thought that this was a very overdue April Fool’s Joke. Personally, I was just baffled that Mary J. Blige didn’t do a jingle that was a little more…in her league. (Maybe something similar to McDonald’s did with the R&B song for its McNuggets?) Honestly, that is a totally different topic of discussion that we will save for a later date, so let’s stay on topic, shall we?

All in all, I think that this just goes to show that no matter how successful you have become you can’t think that a minor marketing mishap like this won’t effect your brand…because it will. This ad pokes more fun at MJB and even more so Burger King that promoting the new snack wrap. And I know that companies are looking to always expand their marketing tactics, but this was clearly a way for them to compete directly with McDonald’s, and further establish their urban market.

According to Black Enterprise, Burger King has already pulled the ad “due to copyright issues”. Hmph, I guess that’s a good way to put it.

How do you think MJB’s camp should respond? What should Burger King say in regards to Mary J. Blige’s participation?

Sound Off!



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