Burger King to send extended ad
to customers of Sprint phone video
By Theresa Howard, USA TODAY
January 20, 2006
NEW YORK — TV is just one way
viewers can have Burger King's first
Super Bowl ad in a decade.
The Whopperettes will star in a
Burger King ad during the Super
Shortly after Burger King's
60-second ad airs before an expected
90 million Super Bowl viewers on
Feb. 5, it will go out over one of
the newest ad media. Millions of
Sprint wireless phone subscribers
with video service will have the
chance to watch a longer version
that includes outtakes and
The ad is an over-the-top production
in the spirit of MGM's 1930s
musicals: 92 "Whopperettes" dressed
as burgers, flames, pickles, lettuce
and tomatoes will sing and dance to
new lyrics for the famous "Have it
Your Way" jingle.
Burger King is spending an estimated
$2.4 million for its Super Bowl ad
The Sprint deal is one way Burger
King will try to extend the reach
and shelf life of its Super Bowl ad
investment — about $1 million to
produce the ad and about $5 million
for the minute during the game.
The ad will kick off a campaign of
(including two more Whopperette TV
ads) to general and targeted
Also rolling out for Super Sunday
will be a link on burgerking.com to
a special interactive Whopperettes
area. The ad will be downloadable to
iPods and within days will be shown
in movie theaters. Whopperette
posters also will go up in Burger
King's 7,600 U.S. restaurants.
"Instead of having the ad stand
alone, they are surrounding it with
other platforms where people are
migrating," says Andy Donchin,
director of national broadcast for
media buying company Carat. "You
want to get the biggest bang for
your buck by putting the commercial
in other venues."
But the whole multimedia effort
still kicks off with the big bang of
a big-event TV ad.
"As much as people want to write the
TV network obituaries, alternative
media becomes a way of extending
what is still the No. 1 form of
viewership in the world," says Russ
Klein, Burger King's top marketer.
The blending of old and new media
and promotion — from TV ads to
restaurant tray liners — into an
integrated campaign with every
detail reinforcing the message is
the signature of BK's ad agency, the
hot Crispin Porter & Bogusky.
"We're trying to ricochet everything
we have against everything we're
in," Klein says.
Phone screen video is a new ad
frontier but is already a $45
million annual business.
How it will work for Sprint video
subscribers: Within 30 minutes of
the ad airing, those who've opted to
receive text messages from Sprint
will get a note saying the extended
ad is available on a dedicated
Sprint TV channel on their handset.
Sprint has 45 million subscribers
but would not say how many buy video
"If they want to see this
commercial, they can get it," says
Sprint spokeswoman Angela Read.
"People are looking online for
commercials. This is another way to
The phone version will be limited to
about two minutes. "We're going to
be respectful of how much it burns
up on run time," Klein says.
"The Sprint partnership is one key
ingredient to this overall
megaplatform to deliver the