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Rick Bayless and Burger King - Part 3


mtdew
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Egad, I hate to admit it, but Mr. 13,000 posts up there has a really good point, Brooks. Sometimes its enough to fool people into thinking that someone matters to make them matter. Indeed, logically they could have taken an actor and made the thing into some sort of dramatization with a title card which read "famous chef", but then they might have been the ones accused of being fraudulent instead of Mr. Bayless. People (maybe only stupid people, but people nonetheless) assume that if a famous chef tells them food is good, then its got to be good. They don't have to know, or care, who it was.

This is typical of most things in modern civilization. We rely on experts a lot. You go to a doctor and he tells you take some prescription or another. Rarely do people look up reports or studies on the drug.

We think food is different because everyone supposes themself an expert, and in some sense that's true. But I don't think it's generally stupid to take the advice of experienced individuals. But you have to consider its context.

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You really think the crowd that eats regularly at fast food joints has been effected by Tony Bourdain?

Exactly my point (ugghhh...sort of).

No I do not think that the crowd that eats fast food regularly has been influenced very much by Bourdain, but I think that is pretty much the same argument I made when I said that the fast food crowd would not be particularly influenced one way or the other by Rick Bayless. In fact Bourdain (with his urbane New Yorker charm and hardened, steely, rode hard and put away wet, good looks :wink: ) could sell just as many sandwiches as Bayless. Which is not too many, because none of those people that are buying them know who he is.

Tommy is right about another thing- all someone has to do is say that they are an expert and they are instantly influencing the more gullible and uninformed members of the viewing audience. But I still think that having fairly esoteric, not very well known by the general BK public, personality is a waste of money.

Rachel Ray-Good Money for BK

Rick Bayless-Bad Money for BK

Mr. 13,000 Posts-Bad money for BK

Bourdain-Good money for Bourdain

Al Roker- Good money for BK

You see where I am going? All it takes is for the BK public to be influenced (my opinion) is to get a recognizable personality with a good public persona to do the adverts and the money is reasonably well spent. Someone like Rick Bayless, otoh, is a waste of money and will most likely not be doing any more BK ads based on that fact. And I believe that the end result of this will be RB doing some kind of industry wide apology/explanation about his reasons for doing the ads, because with no more BK he will have to go back to doing what he was in his previous life-being an advocate for good food served well and prepared with real ingrediants in a way that benefits both the diners and the world around the diners. And he will need to apologize because he was wrong. Period.

Brooks Hamaker, aka "Mayhaw Man"

There's a train everyday, leaving either way...

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Someone like Rick Bayless, otoh, is a waste of money and will most likely not be doing any more BK ads based on that fact.

but what if BK knew he'd give that money to charity and they figured they'd do something nice. :laugh::laugh::laugh:

but yeah, a waste of money. but so is most advertising, methinks. you can't tell me that budwieser is selling 5 million more a year in beer because of its ads during the superbowl. however, that's a bit different, as they are also advertising to stay in the public conscience. it's hard to look at advertising and say "that was worth it". it's a very dynamic and complicated equation.

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My actual feeling-- and one of the reason I condemn Bayless for going along with it -- is that BK introduced these sandwiches and the promotions by Bayless, Raye, et al. not necessarily because they thought they would be selling a lot of them and making money from it. I am sure that their core money makers are and will continue to be burgers, fries and soft drinks. Rather, I think it's all about BK seeing which way the wind was blowing in terms of the public perception of fast food establishments and health. So the ads are all about building brand awareness for BK and influencing the nature of that brand awareness. This kind of avertising is a very subtle thing, and I think what they want is for potential customers to think, at least subconsciously, "hey, BK isn't so bad for a fast food place... they've got those new sandwiches that don't seem that dangerous... I think I'll stop in there for lunch today." Then they end up buying a Whopper anyway. This is just like the car manufacturers that run tons of television ads about their new "hemi" engine (whatever that is) in order to further the notion that they offer family cars with balls under the hood. The real effect of these campaigns is to confer that impression to the entire line of automobiles, not just the expensive "hemi" cars.

If BK discontinues or seriously ramps-down the new sandwiches in 6 - 9 months... mission accomplished. This is why I condemn Bayless somewhat for doing this endorsement. Whether he sought to do so or not, his face in BK commercials does have the net effect of helping BK sell more of the kind of food he has been campaining against.

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If BK discontinues or seriously ramps-down the new sandwiches in 6 - 9 months... mission accomplished. This is why I condemn Bayless somewhat for doing this endorsement. Whether he sought to do so or not, his face in BK commercials does have the net effect of helping BK sell more of the kind of food he has been campaining against.

That may be. It's an astute possiblity -- the brand modification hypothesis.

However, the condemnation of Bayless should be more a matter of him being used, then. Exploited, even (since there's apparently a ton of Marxists here).

However, assuming Bayless is shrewd and still believes that CC's principles are good and that he's working to promote them, he could argue that he was hoping for its success and that even if BK's intentions were impure, faced with its success they would, in their own self-interest, embrace the concept.

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This is just like the car manufacturers that run tons of television ads about their new "hemi" engine (whatever that is) in order to further the notion that they offer family cars with balls under the hood.

The Hemi was a real whopper. Not some fast food sandwich but a fine use of American Steel. :wink:

I do,however, think that you are correct about BK's reasoning behind bringing out the sandwich. It is just a "loss leader" of sorts to get people in to buy more tasteless, fatty, not very good to eat or good for you fare. :angry: Good point.

Brooks Hamaker, aka "Mayhaw Man"

There's a train everyday, leaving either way...

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My actual feeling-- and one of the reason I condemn Bayless for going along with it -- is that BK introduced these sandwiches...

I agree, mainly because that's what I said back on page 41, except you said it much better and with more words. But that's exactly why RB's endorsement is wrong: he's not endorsing a sandwich, however healthy and toothsome it may be; he's endorsing Buger King, whopper, fries and all.

Edited by ivan (log)

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ID

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But that's exactly why RB's endorsement is wrong: he's not endorsing a sandwich, however healthy and toothsome it may be; he's endorsing Buger King, whopper, fries and all.

Woohoo, YES. Exactly. :laugh:

Brooks Hamaker, aka "Mayhaw Man"

There's a train everyday, leaving either way...

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I agree, mainly because that's what I said back on page 41, except you said it much better and with more words.

More words, unfortunately, would appear to be my calling card. But I would never presume to say it better than you, kind sir. :cool:

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So the ads are all about building brand awareness for BK and influencing the nature of that brand awareness. This kind of avertising is a very subtle thing, and I think what they want is for potential customers to think, at least subconsciously, "hey, BK isn't so bad for a fast food place... they've got those new sandwiches that don't seem that dangerous... I think I'll stop in there for lunch today." Then they end up buying a Whopper anyway.

you have a valid point. but you also seem to have little faith in consumers and in Bayless. not to mention burger king. that's not to say your suspicions are wrong, but, you know.

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Sam, that summary was excellent.

You could also surmise that they are now preparing their defense for the soon-to-be onslaught of obesity-related litigation.

Hey, you had a choice. You chose the triple cheeseburger with the large fries.

PJ

PS Hemi's rule.

"Epater les bourgeois."

--Lester Bangs via Bruce Sterling

(Dori Bangs)

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about their new "hemi" engine (whatever that is)

Not new. Old Barracudas had 'em. Engines with hemispherical firing chambers in the head instead of cylindrical. More expensive to make, slightly more efficient, definitely more power. Been around since the 50's or so.

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So the ads are all about building brand awareness for BK and influencing the nature of that brand awareness.  This kind of avertising is a very subtle thing, and I think what they want is for potential customers to think, at least subconsciously, "hey, BK isn't so bad for a fast food place... they've got those new sandwiches that don't seem that dangerous... I think I'll stop in there for lunch today."  Then they end up buying a Whopper anyway.

you have a valid point. but you also seem to have little faith in consumers and in Bayless. not to mention burger king. that's not to say your suspicions are wrong, but, you know.

I don't think it's a matter of faith. It's a matter of understanding how advertising and brand marketing works. And this is how it works. Many times, a company will heavily promote a certain car or sandwich or whatever... not necessarily because they think their advertisements will sell a zillion cars or sandwiches. It's all about building brand awareness and imparting a targeted impression to a certain demographic.

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of course tony has done a lot to raise awareness of food and travel: of a particular segment of the population. you can draw your own conclusions as to whether those folks are frequenting fast food restaurants.

Actually Tony B is into fast foods big time, they just happen to be privately owned roadside stands and barges moored in southeast Asian rivers... :cool:

=Mark

Give a man a fish, he eats for a Day.

Teach a man to fish, he eats for Life.

Teach a man to sell fish, he eats Steak

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you have a valid point. but you also seem to have little faith in consumers and in Bayless. not to mention burger king. that's not to say your suspicions are wrong, but, you know.

Just out of curiosity, why would one have faith in Burger King; that is, faith that BK would have its consumers' best interests at heart rather than its own bottom line?

Or did I misunderstand? It's possible, it happens all the time.

As far as faith in consumers, since it's been pretty well conclusively proven that the teeming masses (myself, of course, included, now give me my goddamn Twinkies and get out of my way :wink: ) are easily influenced by marketing...well...

K

Basil endive parmesan shrimp live

Lobster hamster worchester muenster

Caviar radicchio snow pea scampi

Roquefort meat squirt blue beef red alert

Pork hocs side flank cantaloupe sheep shanks

Provolone flatbread goat's head soup

Gruyere cheese angelhair please

And a vichyssoise and a cabbage and a crawfish claws.

--"Johnny Saucep'n," by Moxy Früvous

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you have a valid point.  but you also seem to have little faith in consumers and in Bayless.  not to mention burger king.  that's not to say your suspicions are wrong, but, you know.

Just out of curiosity, why would one have faith in Burger King; that is, faith that BK would have its consumers' best interests at heart rather than its own bottom line?

aside from charitable organizations, i really don't think there are many companies that don't put the interests of their shareholders before much else. i don't think that BK is an exception here. and i don't think their marketing tactics are much different than other companies who rely on brand awareness.

and sam is right. but these new sandwiches are not the first of their kind. i'll bet that you won't see them on the menu in a few years, just as all of the products that have been introduced and pulled over the years. although, they do seem to offer salads after all of this time. you know, that healthy green stuff (as long as you don't use that packaged dressing! :laugh: )

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and sam is right.

:shock::laugh:

i don't think their marketing tactics are much different than other companies who rely on brand awareness. ... but these new sandwiches are not the first of their kind.  i'll bet that you won't see them on the menu in a few years, just as all of the products that have been introduced and pulled over the years.

Ah, but this is the heart of the matter. You understand this. I understand this. Probably most of the people on eGullet understand this. So, shouldn't we suppose that Bayless, who is after all much more experienced in media than we, also understood this when he took BK's money?

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and sam is right.

:shock::laugh:

i just threw that in there to keep it civil. :raz:

Ah, but this is the heart of the matter.  You understand this.  I understand this.  Probably most of the people on eGullet understand this.  So, shouldn't we suppose that Bayless, who is after all much more experienced in media than we, also understood this when he took BK's money?

of course he did. but BK isn't unique in this regard.

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Well... of course they aren't. Everyone knows what was in it for BK. But I think this speaks directly to the main points of contention in this thread with respect to Bayless and what was in it for him.

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Ah, but this is the heart of the matter. You understand this. I understand this. Probably most of the people on eGullet understand this. So, shouldn't we suppose that Bayless, who is after all much more experienced in media than we, also understood this when he took BK's money?

Who knows what has gone on the mind of Rick Bayless?

He has stated that he believes that he did something worthwhile. That provides some clues.

On the other hand, most eGullet folks--if not all, in some manner--don't think he did something--at least within his "BK Incident" actions--worthwhile. (Myself included, more than less.)

So we can call him all sorts of names, rant & rave, curse & make vulgar statements, write e-mails to organizations in which he belongs, and provide long-winded diatribes to convince ourselves & others that we have found the "truth" about this matter.

Perhaps he's wrong. Perhaps he's naive. Perhaps he's something else entirely.

But the labels don't really matter. The labels don't change anything approaching "reality."

All that's a tempest in a teapot.

What does matter is how each of us lives out our lives in relation to the types of values/questions/issues/feelings/whatevers that this incident has raised.

Talking is great. Keep talking. Go to bed at night & congratulate yourself that you've provided an articulate description of this "Incident." But the same world awaits the next day. Unless, of course, someone does something more than talk.

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Who knows what has gone on the mind of Rick Bayless?

He has stated that he believes that he did something worthwhile. That provides some clues.

Sorry, I don't buy this. Are you suggesting that people never do things for one reason and then try to claim that it was for a different reason? Or that people don't conceal their true motivation for doing certain things? I would suggest that people do this all the time.

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Who knows what has gone on the mind of Rick Bayless?

He has stated that he believes that he did something worthwhile.  That provides some clues.

Sorry, I don't buy this. Are you suggesting that people never do things for one reason and then try to claim that it was for a different reason? Or that people don't conceal their true motivation for doing certain things? I would suggest that people do this all the time.

I'm saying that we don't know.

Are you ready to claim that you know what goes on in Rick Bayless' mind?

If so, we'd better start referring to you as G**.

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Who knows what has gone on the mind of Rick Bayless?

He has stated that he believes that he did something worthwhile.  That provides some clues.

Sorry, I don't buy this. Are you suggesting that people never do things for one reason and then try to claim that it was for a different reason? Or that people don't conceal their true motivation for doing certain things? I would suggest that people do this all the time.

I'm saying that we don't know.

Are you ready to claim that you know what goes on in Rick Bayless' mind?

I'm saying that every scrap of evidence we have before us leads leads one inevitably to the reasonable conclusions that A) Bayless knew exactly what he was getting himself into, as indeed would most anyone having far less depth of media and publicity experience than he; and B) his after the fact explanations are disingenuous and not to be taken at face value, especially given his thorough and amply demonstrated knowledge in all the areas relevant to the transaction.

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