Ripping on Crispin Porter + Bogusky has gained a certain traction lately as the little charger shop known for great work on off-beat brands like Mini has grown into a creative powerhouse doing work on blue chip brands. It’s much easier to find fault with a shop that could challenge your own.And people are doing their best to find fault with the Miami agency’s work.
Sure, some of their work has flopped. The Miller Lite “Man Laws” campaign is the most memorable of what didn’t work…but every agency has something like that happen from time to time, be it due to poor research, poor insight, poor strategy, clients unwilling to take a risk, or any number of reasons.
Crispin really hit the big time when they started doing work for Burger King, a perennial second-choice that was quickly losing share, revenue and relevance, and that work was fresh, irreverent and tightly targeted to a specific demo:
My guess is that Burger King targets an 18-30, with a sweet spot in the 20s, male who eats fast food a few times a week. Psychographically, they are unlikely to care about health and wellness, look to get more – flavor, serving size, etc – from their food choice and are open to look to the brand as a way to get more emotionally fulfilling experiences out of life.
The small hands gag from the spot above is not cerebral or deeply meaningful, but it is undeniable that it gets interest and a laugh out of the target while using the joke to say something about the product (as opposed to an unrelated joke that gets attention but says nothing about the brand). It seems easy because the gag is sort of juvenile. It’s not.
Both the spot in question and the evolving campaign have done well on sales and brand measures. And some of those ads are really funny.
The Man Laws may not have gone down all that well, but CP+B still has it.