Smells Like Charcoal?: Burger King’s New Cologne, Flame

By Burt Alper

December 18, 2008

Hasn’t this happened to everyone? You’re walking down the street at lunch time and you suddenly smell meaty, oniony, charcoal-broily FOOD which causes you to go insane and order the Number Three at Burger King, with the extra large onion rings. We’ve all been there. There’s a Burger King on the corner by Catchword’s office and they have gotten too much of my money over the last 10 years.

But I never expected BK to launch a body spray, of all things. From their new website:

The WHOPPER sandwich is America’s Favorite burger. FLAME by BK captures the essence of that love and gives it to you in the form of a body spray. Behold the scent of seduction, with a hint of flame-broiled meat.

Um, EW?

I have to assume this product real, since you can buy the stuff online at Ricky’s NYC for $3.99. But I honestly can’t imagine what this stuff could smell like, given that it’s got a hint of “flame-broiled meat”. Lighter fluid? A steakhouse? The shirt you wore to the 4th of July picnic?

In the naming biz we often talk about the perils of brand extension – using your name on products not normally associated with your company. Coke can get away with all kinds of beverages, but would you buy a hot dog branded Coke? Some companies, like Disney, for example, have been extremely successful in extending their brand to all forms of entertainment, from movies to television to theme parks to Halloween costumes. But you’ve got to know your limitation: extend your brand too far and it will collapse like an alibi on Law & Order. Unless they’ve got some clever marketing plan in mind, I’d say a Burger King fragrance is one brand extension too far.



Do. Not. Want.

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