Don’t Search for Herb

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Burger King launched a $40 million ad campaign in November 1985 called “Where’s Herb?” The idea was to find a character named Herb who’d never had a Burger King burger. Herb would drop in to random locations, and customers could be rewarded if they found him at their local restaurant. This would, hypothetically, drive traffic to the stores.

However, other chains flipped the campaign to their own benefit. They pointed out that if Herb wasn’t at B.K., it meant he probably liked other chains’ burgers more. Unsurprisingly, B.K. profits fell 40% in 1986. The campaign didn’t drive traffic AND their customers gained. Lose-lose.

What do we have to say about this?

Don’t go searching for Herb!

Where’s the benefit?
So, B.K.’s burgers taste great because some dude named Herb hasn’t been there before? This is just silly-stupid-and-not-worth-$40-MILLION! When developing strategies for your marketing campaigns, it helps to consider potential drawbacks – including how a competitor may benefit, not you.

There are times when you can preemptively discuss your weaknesses as a campaign, instead of waiting for your competitors to use it against you. Generally speaking, however, you should discuss your strengths. You should discuss how your product or service solves a problem for your customer.

Persona-based Criteria


Pixaura can help you create personas and custom strategies to find real customers that want to shop at your store or buy your service. Get in touch today to get started. Let us put our resources and experience to use for you. We truly believe your success is our success.

James O'LoughlinDon’t Search for Herb