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Subject: Trump Burger

Written By: JamieMcBain on 01/24/05 at 1:58 pm

MIAMI (CP) - Giving product placement a new twist, Burger King got the idea for its latest fast-food item from the mogul wannabes on TV's The Apprentice.

The new burger that debuted Friday in 7,800 restaurants in the U.S. and 274 in Canada came straight out of Thursday night's episode of Donald Trump's popular reality TV show. Product placement is the growing - and sometimes criticized - practice of sneaking advertising into shows and movies by having performers and reality TV contestants use identifiable products on the screen. Companies pay the producers for the privilege.

Thursday night's show was the premiere of the third Apprentice series, in which contestants compete for the chance to get a job with the billionaire businessman.

The two teams each had to design a new Burger King product, with help from the chain's head chef. They then had to sell it while running two busy stores in midtown Manhattan during lunchtime. The team with the most sales won.

Burger King refused to discuss financial terms of the promotion deal.

The winning team, Networth, hawked a Western Angus steak burger, loaded with cheese, barbecue sauce, onion rings, lettuce and tomatoes. (For those counting calories, that's about 700 big ones.) 

"We couldn't wait even a day to take this burger from the boardroom to the lunchroom," said Lisa Brenneman, national marketing manager for Burger King in Canada, where it's called the Western BK steak burger and is made with all-Canadian beef.

Franchisees didn't know they'd have to make the new product available immediately until minutes after the first contestant was fired. On Friday morning, each restaurant received a shipment including ingredients, instructions and Apprentice-themed promotional materials, giving them only hours to add the new item to the menus.

"It seemed like a perfect fit for us. . .Donald Trump is a bottom-line guy," said Russ Klein, Burger King Corp.'s chief marketing officer.

The episode was taped months ago. But with the burger on sale Friday, he said, "It will feel like a product has come from the boardroom into the restaurant in 24 hours."

Burger King is planning to run a 30-second commercial featuring Trump on NBC until the end of January, Klein said. No parallel TV ad campaign is planned in Canada where The Apprentice airs on Global Television.

The burger should be in U.S. stores until Feb. 4.

The buzz comes as the chain seems to be recovering from a rough patch.

"I think it's a very smart marketing move," said Jerry McVety, president of McVety & Associates, a Farmington Hills, Mich.-based restaurant consultant. "It's a short, quick, targeted campaign. . .it's driven more by the association with The Apprentice and Trump than it is with this particular burger."

Privately held Burger King doesn't release exact sales figures, but sales at stores open at least a year have risen for 11 straight months through December, after sliding for nearly two years before that.

Subject: Re: Trump Burger

Written By: woops on 01/24/05 at 4:59 pm

I've heard something similar that there's a musical adaptation of "The Apprentice" on the works...  :P  (Don't know if it's a rumor or if it's true)

Subject: Re: Trump Burger

Written By: Howard on 01/24/05 at 6:15 pm

The Trump Burger? Sounds yummy. :P


Subject: Re: Trump Burger

Written By: MaxwellSmart on 01/24/05 at 7:22 pm

Sure, like Trump would ever be caught dead in a Burger King, the elitist pig.
Down with The Donald!

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