Though lurking in the shadows for several years — a prominent figure has once again taken to the world stage. That’s right: The actual Burger King has made his first round of appearances since 2011. Popping up in the background of coverage of several major live sports events, the King is back, baby.
But with seemingly no goal other than just hanging out with famous personas — the King mascot appeared alongside boxer Floyd Mayweather at his recent fight, and stood with trainer of Triple Crown winner Bob Baffert at the Belmont Stakes — what’s their endgame? While simple branding is all well and good, there’s more to the story than presence.
ICYMI: Burger King paid for king to walk in with Floyd Mayweather. Estimated to cost $1M+ pic.twitter.com/hCj6TCEC42
— Darren Rovell (@darrenrovell) May 4, 2015
It’s a phrase that’s been almost overused in marketing circles, but “content is king” is just as true as it is clichéd. It’s possible that by having the Burger King appear at these events, the chain is attempting to not necessarily sponsor, but rather working at creating branded content. While the appearance itself is branding, the social media discussion and photos are strange, yet spreading content. It even got influencers like ESPN and ABC News correspondent Darren Rovell tweeting pictures to their network, spreading the impact.
It’s an interesting take, and one that we’ll probably see more marketers taking up as a proliferation of channels makes plays for attention all the more important. However, I wouldn’t wager that Belmont Stakes watchers will be inspired to trade their mint juleps and fascinators for chocolate milkshakes and cardboard crowns, anytime soon.
Jeremy Zimmerman is Associate Content Editor for Target Marketing magazine and Direct Marketing IQ.