I really like the way Burger King handled this celebrity endorsement advert for their ‘smoky cheddar steakhouse XT’. The mouth-mangling branding immediately reminds you of car brands: marque | model | body shape |trim-level or performance nomenclature.
Tony Stewart is a NASCAR driver; in the US he would be famous like Jensen Button or Lewis Hamilton would be in the UK. What the advert captures really nicely though is the confusion of starting work in a fast-food restaurant. I worked for six weeks in a McDonald’s drive-through a couple of decades ago, but some of the footage took me right back to chaos of the service industry.
The advert is partly a pun on Stewart’s nickname Smoke, which Wikipedia quoting NASCAR.com claimed the following:
Tony Stewart told NASCAR.com of his nickname: “I wasn’t very good about not slipping the right-rear tire, initially. So it started as ‘Smoker,’ then it got shortened to ‘Smoke.’ Then when I got in the Indy Racing League it was ‘Smoke’ because one of the guys on the crew who was my roommate, and knew the nickname, carried it over to the IndyCar team. But then when I started blowing engines, ‘Smoke’ really stuck. I’ve had it ever since.”
Stewart also has a reputation for competing in non-NASCAR races under a nom-de-plumé, again making him an ideal candidate in the public’s eyes for this advert. It is also interesting that Burger King release the video by giving it to the people at CollegeHumor.com who have a huge North American audience for their comic clips.