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Crispin Downloads Microsoft.

Posted by: David Kiley on February 27, 2008

burger king

Crispin Porter & Bogusky, Miami is showing that nay-sayers and boo-birds who were criticizing the agency after losing Miller and Orville Redenbacher, and predicting the agency was on the way down, is showing that it is far from a one-hit “Subservient Chicken” wonder.

Burger King has recorded 16 consecutive quarters of growth in same-store sales. And last quarter, it reported a strong 4.5 percent gain in same-store sales, even as McDonald’s and other rivals have shown signs of weakness in a wobbly economy. BK’s sales were boosted by an effective new ad campaign, the “Whopper Freakout,” that uses a hidden camera to record customers’ reactions when they are told the Whopper has been done away with and served Big Macs or Wendy’s burgers.

And now CP+B has beaten out Publicis Groupe’s Fallon in Minneapolis in the final round of a review for a $300 million Microsoft assignment. The agency also beat out WPP Group’s JWT and Interpublic Group’s McCann Erickson, which were previously eliminated.

The winning agency will develop a global campaign defining Microsoft to consumers in the context of its mobile, Vista and Live platforms.

CP was pilloried in some corners for its work for Volkswagen in 2006 and last year. And it has been widely rumored that the agency would get the axe after former VW marketing chief Kerri Martin left the company fourteen months ago, and since management upheaval at the company brought Stefan Jacoby to run the U.S. company. But Jacoby seems to have bought in to CP+B, and is launching a new ad campaign and positioning for the VW brand from Crispin in the spring. Theme: “Das Auto.”

I think that because the Subservient Chicken was such a departure from what ad agencies are expected to do for clients, and CP+B received so many awards in a short space of time that it became good sport to talk up the agency’s demise. But wins like this, and results like BK’s seem to demonstrate that the agency is no flash in the pan.

Reader Comments

Rick Tether

February 28, 2008 9:07 AM

Get real; are you reporting on the facts or just kissing CPB's ass like every other trade pub out there.

They lost Miller, Orville, etc. because they couldn't prove results and when pushed to change things because of the lack of results, they decided it would be easier to take their ball and go home.

Give the hole Microsoft is in, I don't imagine them to sit by and watch as sales continue to decrease.


March 1, 2008 5:45 AM

Don't underestimate Alex Bogusky.

Bob G

March 1, 2008 8:26 AM

I agree that the Burger King story is a very strong case for Crispin. But there are lots of negatives as well. VW and Orville are two. Toss in Miller Lite. And have you seen the Haggar brand turnaround yet?

The agency seems to get more press for winning business than for actually producing work that grows sales. This post is an example: "They're back because they won Microsoft." Classic example of what's wrong with the agency world - too much sizzle and not enough steak.

Let's see what great work comes out, then I'll be the first to applaud.


March 4, 2008 5:22 PM

jealous much?


June 6, 2008 12:47 AM

Talking about Bogusky & Crispin's CP+B
is just like talking about Kobe.
You talk about the great shots that they made, NOT the shots that they missed. Talk about winners.

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News, opinions, inflammatory meanderings and occasional ravings about the world of advertising, marketing and media. By marketing editor Burt Helm, Innovation Editor Helen Walters, and senior correspondent Michael Arndt.

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