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Burger King Freakout

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Todd at Fantastic Plastic
Burger King Freakout
on Dec 17, 2007 at 7:16:49 pm

Has everyone seen the Burger King "freakout" hidden camera campaign?

I just think this is so genius... and proof that a production doesn't have to be super slick Hollywood sexy to be very effective (although they did obviously spend a boatload of money on on the hidden technicalities). I'm not sure I would have risked using Regan Burns as the "store manager" since he is a slightly-recognizable actor, but apparently they got away with it.

This is a :30 that is being broadcast, but there is also a seven-minute version that is pretty hilarious here...

http://www.whopperfreakout.com/

Also, it was great (and a perfect choice) to hear Peter Thomas narrating. I was afraid he had either retired (or worse, had left his earthly body) since I had not heard him on the air in a loooong time and he has got to be well into his 80s by now. I first used Peter on a campaign about 10 years ago, and you would be hard pressed to find a nicer gentleman anywhere (or a better voice).


T2

__________________________________
Todd Terry
Creative Director
Fantastic Plastic Entertainment, Inc.
fantasticplastic.com






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Arnie Schlissel
Re: Burger King Freakout
on Dec 20, 2007 at 12:06:37 am

OK, these people are just plain evil! I love it! Ian Flemming would have been proud.

Arnie

Now in post: Peristroika, a film by Slava Tsukerman

http://www.arniepix.com/blog


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Mark Suszko
Re: Burger King Freakout
on Dec 21, 2007 at 10:32:33 pm

I always liked Peter Thomas' voice too, it was the voice of PBS/ NOVA for quite a while, it seemed, and anything you use that voice on gets an instant boost of credibility. I remember a pop song that sampled a chunk of him narrating a documentary on the Vietnam war, long before sampling like that was very common. The song was called, I think, "Nineteen", based on the sample words which were something about the average age of an American soldier in Vietnam. Have looked for the song a few times online, have not yet found it.


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Chuck Reti
Re: Burger King Freakout
on Dec 22, 2007 at 6:03:24 am

Peter Thomas is voicing a set of spots running here in the Detroit area for Beaumont, a medical complex once known as William Beaumont Hospital.
Thomas' narration unfortunately is made to sound like a nervous Voice of Doom, with the tag line being "It's Your Life...Do YOU have a Beaumont doctor?"
Some time back I had a client who used Peter Thomas for his spots, and described him as being incredibly nice, and great to work with. Certainly one of the most ubiquitous voices in the ad business.
BTW I for one can't stand the BK spots!


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Todd at Fantastic Plastic
Re: Burger King Freakout
on Dec 22, 2007 at 4:04:01 pm

Yep, Peter always lent an air of credibility to what he voices. I will always be indebted to him... he voiced the very first spot I ever did as an independent producer... I was a poor 20-something, and he gave me a rate break and I was able to produce a cool spot (also for a hospital) that basically launched my career.

I had completely forgotten about that song that sampled him... I bet I could have found it in the old Napster days.

Just looked up some info on him... Peter is now 83 and still living in Naples... and apparently still working hard. Most guys who were actually on the beach at Normandy aren't even still around, let alone working. It's really quite amazing that he still sounds exactly as he did decades ago... and a bit odd to think of that gentle still youthful voice coming out of a fairly craggy wizened old guy. I think I will give him a shout (although I won't mention I thought he was dead!).



T2

__________________________________
Todd Terry
Creative Director
Fantastic Plastic Entertainment, Inc.
fantasticplastic.com






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Jess George
Re: Burger King Freakout
on Feb 8, 2008 at 2:32:46 pm

Peter Thomas narrates the show Forensic Files on Court TV (well, now TruTV.) His voice is my favorite part of the show! I think he works great in these BK spots, too.



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The Goodbye Boy
Re: Burger King Freakout
on Dec 23, 2007 at 4:35:25 am

"I just think this is so genius... and proof that a production doesn't have to be super slick Hollywood sexy to be very effective"

I wouldn't call it genius as the hidden cam thing has been WAY DONE. Effective? sure. Creative? eh. All credit goes to the agency. It's a good idea. Nothing more. Not many people on the production/post production side would put this on their reel is my guess.

There are a lot of bad 'Hollywood sexy' ads out there for sure. For every hundred ads, there is one great one. These have a solid idea, with perfect production and excellent post production (story telling). When they all work together, then you got something worth talking about.

Just my two zents


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Mark Suszko
Re: Burger King Freakout
on Dec 23, 2007 at 6:07:30 am

Line I read the other day:

"Commercials are like your kids. Some turn out great, some may turn out bad, but it's always fun making 'em".

As to the BK spot, there's nothing wrong with using old techniques if they still work on a new audience. Hopefully, you bring something new to the execution, but come on, in the 60 or so years of modern media advertising, most everything has to have been done at least once before, right?. The trick is to find a new spin on it to make it your own. And to never forget what you're selling.


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Todd at Fantastic Plastic
Re: Burger King Freakout
on Dec 23, 2007 at 6:09:32 am

[person] "I wouldn't call it genius as the hidden cam thing has been WAY DONE."

Missed the point... the genius part is not "hidden camera"... the genius part is taking a such an outlandish idea (Burger King stopping selling the one product that they are famous for) and actually being able to sucker people into the gag, customers who are very passionate about it, and who blast the competition at the same time (while the client itself can stay above board and personally say nothing). Imagine going to KFC and ordering a bucket but they explain they don't sell chicken any more.

I didn't throw that link up because I thought it was a sexy production, but precisely the opposite... because it isn't. All too often production guys (myself inlcluded) get caught up in the "slickness of overproduction".... forgetting that anything narrative, be it a :30 commercial or a two-hour feature, must start with the story and the content.

I'd never suggest a post person put this campaign on their reel... but the Ad Agency? Absolutely.

I stand by my original assessment.



T2

__________________________________
Todd Terry
Creative Director
Fantastic Plastic Entertainment, Inc.
fantasticplastic.com






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The Goodbye Boy
Re: Burger King Freakout
on Dec 23, 2007 at 3:35:02 pm

i simply stating that genius is to the eye of the beholder. and this BK ad qualifies as a good idea but has been done before. i would call it down right 'client pleasing'. so how can it be genius? Pepsi challenge? Candid camera? and i am not calling all the big budget slick ads genius by any stretch. but that there is one out of a hundred that is great because it is both effective and creative. don't 'freak out' man.

it has come to my attention that 'the cow' requires us all to use our full names on our posting. i have turned this option down as i do not wish to be send my full name over the internet airwaves. and what do they do? put it up there anyway, thankfully spelled wrong. the cow is doing this to keep a tight grip on what is being posted. and even though i didn't grant permission to the moderators to use my full name, they went ahead and did it. i'm sure i'll be erased quickly. they'll claim that since i don't use my full name i can't be held accountable for what i say. i have always had a link to my home page with my info under my personal profiles. so if someone really wanted to find me, they could. the fact of the matter is i don't want clients both current and potential to find me here on 'the cow' when the google my name. goodbye. had fun posting while it lasted.

freedom of speech? not here.


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Ron Lindeboom
Re: Burger King Freakout
on Dec 23, 2007 at 4:22:31 pm

[kelly van der lundberg] "it has come to my attention that 'the cow' requires us all to use our full names on our posting. i have turned this option down as i do not wish to be send my full name over the internet airwaves. and what do they do? put it up there anyway, thankfully spelled wrong. the cow is doing this to keep a tight grip on what is being posted. and even though i didn't grant permission to the moderators to use my full name, they went ahead and did it. i'm sure i'll be erased quickly. they'll claim that since i don't use my full name i can't be held accountable for what i say. i have always had a link to my home page with my info under my personal profiles. so if someone really wanted to find me, they could. the fact of the matter is i don't want clients both current and potential to find me here on 'the cow' when the google my name. goodbye. had fun posting while it lasted."

I spelled it QUITE incorrect on purpose, Kelly. So incorrect, in fact, that it simply was NOT your name. I did not have your permission but you were purposely trying to circumvent our policies and instead of updating your name, you were using the updates to clearly mock the spirit of what we are trying to do. It's one thing to make up some phony name or something but it's quite another to make sure that the name you are choosing is clearly designed to publicly denigrate what we are trying to do here -- that's why I changed it. This is a business not a town square and free speech at all costs is not what this site is about.

I did it because we are getting rid of the screennames. Those who are unwilling to have their names on record and be responsible for what they are saying, can use one of the internet's many areas where they do not limit themselves to ideas like personal responsibility or community.

In two weeks of doing this now, your's is the third complaint we have had. Even if each of you represent 10,000 who feel this way, that is still a tiny percentage of the COW's audience, most of whom are quite willing and amenable to be responsible for their words.

And if you are so afraid of your name being on the Net -- which seems a little paranoid to me -- then why link to your site where it is available? If it is your clients that you are concerned about, I have to smile as many here actually GAIN clients through the COW, not lose them. Tim Wilson got his job at both Boris and Avid because of us and Walter Biscardi can tell you that he got his gig with the Food Network's "Good Eats" show through the COW. Aharon Rabinowitz gets many clients and the list goes on and on...

We have multiple Emmy and Oscar winners, directors and producers of major films, TV shows and commercials, (some of whom have graced the pages of Creative COW Magazine), who aren't afraid to use their names and do so -- even asking questions as themselves. Your customers are tough, eh? Try theirs...

Lastly, The COW has never been about free speech, it is about community. If you are so dead set on free speech at all costs, then I would recommend one of the many "anything goes" sites on the Net. The Cow is not and never was that type of site -- never will be, either.

We have ALWAYS censored our forums, all the way back to Day One. We have said so publicly so many times that I lost count years ago. I personally believe that it is WHY we have grown so big. All of the uncensored "communities" have failed over the years due to noise. Even Avid-L, the bastion of free speech, failed under a mountain of noise and when the members resurrected their own new group as AVID-L2 on Yahoo Groups, guess what? They moderated it. ;o)

I could go community by community and give you one after another that moderate, there is no unobstructed free speech that I can think of in this industry -- unless it's a tiny list or a site that nobody is going to. There is a reason that the COW has grown as it has. There is also a reason that almost all of our members are easily and happily changing over to their real names.

All we are trying to do is get rid of a lot of noise that has crept in over the years. Most of the old pros want it gone and so do we.

I am sorry that you don't get it, Kelly. But you are free to your opinion, just as we are entitled to our own.



Best regards,


Ron Lindeboom
http://www.linkedin.com/in/ronlindeboom
Publisher, Creative COW Magazine
Join the COW's LinkedIn Group

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mark Raudonis
Re: Burger King Freakout now Screen names
on Dec 26, 2007 at 11:51:44 pm

Ron,

I'd just like to say that I'm a HUGE FAN of banning screen names. I'm much less likely to want to help someone who isn't even willing to reveal his own ID. I've always posted under my real name, and respond better to others who do so as well. Good move.

Mark






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Mark Suszko
Re: Burger King Freakout now Screen names
on Dec 27, 2007 at 3:25:49 am

When I joined the COW, I made a conscious choice to post my name "in the clear" from the beginning, but I also belong to other sites that allow psuedonyms and such as well, and at those I can maintain a "secret identity", perhaps more than one.

I think there is room for both; sometimes you can open up and share more if you're anonymous and not afraid of what your bosses or clients might see you saying. That is of course a double-edged sword; some forum sites are practically unuseable because of exceptionally rude and obnoxius posters hiding behind a fake name that chase others away like thugs around a shop door. You can still make a site work with fake names but it certainly increases the overhead for administration, spending much more time and work moderating. I know several moderators (not here) that would say it's not worth the hassles, their poor forums resemble USENET on a bad day.

I know for a fact it is more polite here and more self-regulating than other forums, most likely because of the peer pressure and use of real names.

I can see where it would sometimes be handy for a famous pro to post under a fake name so as to be able to share ideas and opinions without a lot of annoying fanboy chatter coming back at them, or people bugging them off-topic for jobs, etc. Whatever your choice, each site sets a policy and you can like it or lump it. Unless it's a paid membership, it's kind of hard to complain about this one little detail considering all the free benefits you get. Like being invited to a friend's house then complaining the free drinks are not cold enough.



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Greg Ball
Re: Burger King Freakout now Screen names
on Dec 28, 2007 at 10:33:49 pm

I have to say that I understand wanting to use our real names, but often I ask a question where I don't want my direct competitors or perhaps a client to know that it's me asking that question or making that comment. Also the fact that your name can be associated a search on a google search makes it more uncomfortable. I'll give it a shot for a while, but I may hesitate when it comes to a sensitive situation with a client, or a stupid question on another forum.


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Mark Raudonis
Re: Burger King Freakout now Screen names
on Dec 31, 2007 at 7:50:54 pm

I'd argue that if you can't "sanitize" a question enough to be benign, then it doesn't belong in a public forum.

That's what a telephone is for!

mark



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Greg Ball
Re: Burger King Freakout now Screen names
on Jan 1, 2008 at 4:53:52 pm

Not to argue, but it's not a matter of "sanitizing" a question. It's a matter of seeking help from well respected members of the cow without your competition or clients knowing that you're having an issue. I'm not against using real names for registration purposes and I've always used my first "real" name.


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