Although I am sure I don't need to point this out, when it launches, it may not be worth racing down to your local Burger King franchise and ordering it. Not because you would be wasting your money - that goes without saying - but because it probably won't be able to sell it to you. This burger will be available only in 'limited' outlets, and I have a suspicion that the firm is expecting very few of its customers to actually buy it.
However, the idea of a burger that no one buys is not as ludicrous as it might at first sound. Burger King will use the item to promote a gap in perception between it and its deadliest rival McDonald's, which sells its burgers for as little as 99p.
By launching a surprisingly expensive product, Burger King will gain plenty of free publicity; it is an easy story for the newspapers. The PR could turn out to be extensive, and, ultimately, lead some consumers to reassess the quality of the brand. It is a harmless stunt, and my only criticism would be that it is not entirely original. In the past six weeks there have been stories of a £30 Pot Noodle to be sold in Harrods, as well as John Lewis' announcement that it is selling coffee made from beans that have passed through an Indonesian cat for £50 a cup.
I have to confess I am confused by Schweppes' latest ad campaign. The executions are clearly intended to put people off drinking alcohol, but do not necessarily make a convincing case for opting for a Schweppes Lightly Sparkling or Classic beverage instead.
The posters show the embarrassing effects of excessive alcohol consumption through images of men lying on the ground, a girl attempting to pole dance around a lamppost in front of her friends and a man asleep in a shopping trolley. They are similar in tone to those created by alcohol companies, such as Diageo, desperate to demonstrate their intention to put people off binge drinking by conveying how bad drunk people can look.
I am not sure who Schweppes is targeting, but if it is the age group portrayed in these pictures, it can't have done its research very thoroughly. Young people often collect stories of drunken misadventure like trophies; a benchmark for a good night out. Ads showing what they could be missing by drinking Schweppes' products instead will not necessarily help its sales.
Schweppes has so far avoided the binge-drinking row despite the fact that, in addition to the range of non-alcoholic drinks these ads are promoting, the core of its business is mixers. However, through the creation of these ads, it is dragging its brand into the fray - a risky strategy.