In the midst of blogging about March Adness last month, the gang at the lunch table here at CurrentMarketing got to talking about some memorable commercials from our childhoods. Spots we loved. Spots we hated. Spots that made us want to run right out and spend our folks’ hard-earned money on the latest sugary cereal or totally rad new Atari Cartridge. We had so much fun strolling down the Madison Avenue version of Memory Lane that I thought I’d do an occasional blog and revisit some fun spots from the good old days.
I thought I’d start with a staple of child marketing: fast food. Nobody under the age of 30 had any idea what I was talking about when I mentioned Burger Chef. Back in the late 60’s and early 70s, Burger Chef was a giant in the fast food industry, with more than 2,400 locations, nation-wide. Burger Chef was known for several innovations in the hamburger industry, including “The Works Bar,” (where you could dress your own burger) and toasted buns. Founders Frank and Donald Thomas patented the flame broiler in the 1950’s and were pioneers in children’s meals, including toy premiums with their “Fun Burger” in the early 1970’s. In fact, Burger Chef was on the losing end of a lawsuit against McDonalds, who lifted the idea and introduced the Happy Meal several years later. Prizes ranged from riddles, puzzles and small toys to Flex Discs and Star Wars posters. I grew up just a few blocks from the Burger Chef in Valley Station, so I did as I was told by Burger Chef and Jeff… I collected them all.
While marketers and brands everywhere are wondering how to connect with customers and clients during a pandemic, one thing is abundantly clear: people are watching