Ready Player Con

Carls Jr, a burger chain you’ve never heard of with 1600 stores, ran a pretty cheesy social media campaign around Spielberg’s new movie, Ready Player One. They said that ‘in tribute’ they would re-name one of their burgers the Spielburger. The whole thing was pretty lame. However.

Steven Spielberg recorded a 15 second ‘official statement’ video denying them permission; thereby escalating the stunt ten-fold and promoting his new movie at the same time. Oh, lookit: Carls Jr has a licensing agreement with Warner Bros. And there’s a Carls Jr paper bag in the background of the movie poster…

Anyway, who cares about that? Here’s the movie trailer.

Via USA Today.

First world problems

Gold, for so many reasons…

  • The look on the customers’ faces and their reactions
  • The cheek of a major corporation upsetting their customers, then getting their permission to screen video of them losing it in public
  • Excellent dead-pan delivery by employees/actors
  • But most of all because it illustrates a seminal shift in contemporary advertising, from a product benefit orientation to a community and public service orientation, and even a preparedness to associate the brand with a particular political position.