Monday, November 29, 2010

Burger King in Paris?

by Ashleigh Hinrichs

Burger King/Eurostar:

Currently, there are no Burger King restaurants in Paris. There have not been any since 1997 when the company closed down their 39 restaurants in France due to heavy competition from McDonalds and Quick. However, after a misleading twitter post, many people believed Burger king was making its comeback. Instead, this post was a rumor, instigated by the advertisement Eurostar has placed within France.

The commercial begins with a typical demonstration of a Burger King ad; the formation of each layer on the burger, a shot of flames (symbolic of Burger King), and the Burger King logo. Then there appears the address located in London, followed by the route one would take; Gare du Nord to St. Pancras, then voila, Burger King in a mere 2 hours 15 minutes. Eurostar has used the longing and desire of this no longer present establishment to promote travel. With a quick train ride to London by Eurostar, one can enjoy the taste of a Whopper.

The ad is eye-catching because it draws French attention to a product that is no longer available in the region. Then, it dually promotes Burger King and Eurostar services. This demonstrates the use of media to promote tourism. Burger King has become the destination, located in an area easy accessible, only “a hop, skip and a jump away - London in 2 hours and 15 minutes.” This promotes travel, and presents the proximity of London to Paris via Eurostar services. This ad is effective because it gets ones senses salivating, and then redirects ones attention to another subject, traveling. The duality of food and travel also works because food can typically be paired with leisure, travel, and delicacies, rare and unique finds. Thus, Burger King is familiar, but becomes exotic through the necessary use of travel to arrive.

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