Burger King puts mascot on sabbatical

Aug. 19, 2011 at 10:53 AM

MIAMI, Aug. 19 (UPI) -- U.S. fast food seller Burger King said it is putting its regal, but expression-limited mascot, on sabbatical with no particular date for a royal return.

Burger King is going for a new marketing approach in which the King is out and a pitch emphasizing fresh foods is in, USA Today reported Friday.

"There are no plans to bring the King back anytime soon," said senior marketing vice president Alex Macedo of the mascot that looked something like royalty from the Haight Ashbury district of San Francisco, circa 1967, with an oversized balbo beard and a frozen smile on his face.

"Call it the Whole Foods effect," said Ron Paul, president of Technomic, describing the new approach. "Fresh is it."

A new Burger King television advertisement features fresh ingredients being chopped and washed with no voice-over at all -- just music, the newspaper said.

"There was a time when price value was king. Now, healthy choice and quality drive the category," said Robert Passikoff, president of Brand Keys, a marketing consulting firm.

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