Earlier this month, the United Kingdom division of Burger King put up a new page on its website called “Singing in the Shower”, featuring a “Shower Babe” who you could view live each morning singing a song while lathering up and  showering in a bikini.

In case you missed it live, the site lets you replay the footage of that day’s shower song so there is incentive to check back each day. The site also lets users help decide what song she will sing the next morning, and which bikini she will wear (see burger themed bikini above and fried egg themed bikini below).

In a time where you get used to seeing nothing but ultra skinny supermodels in ads, it is interesting to note that the woman they selected for this, while certainly attractive, falls more into the average-build, girl next door kind of look, rather than the “oh my god I’m looking at a supermodel showering” kind of look.  Oh, and one other thing, those of you that saw the site can confirm: her singing is TERRIBLE. I mean really not good at all. There will be no Britain’s Got Talent auditions for this young lady.

Now I’m certainly not the first one to report on this, as Mashable, BrandChannel and AdRants all posted about it in mid-December.  What is interesting, however, is that no one seems to have realized that this promotion/webpage was gone almost as soon as it appeared.  Fast Food Maven posted about the Shower Babe on December 26th, inviting her readers to watch the Shower Babe and share their thoughts – apparently totally unaware that by Wednesday, December 23rd, the site wasn’t even live anymore, and the previous ShowerCam URL re-directed people to a new page devoted to the Whopper and promoting the fact that at Burger King “Taste is King.”

So what’s up with the idea to promote Burger King through a girl singing in the shower? While Burger King has not been afraid to release some highly questionable and offensive sexually laced ads in the past, featuring a woman showering, live on camera, may be a new low (high?) for Burger King’s advertising strategy.  Initially, a BK spokesperson defended the website, noting:

“Our research showed that breakfast is a male-centric audience for Burger King; it doesn’t resonate as well with women – we are targeting the people who are buying breakfast.”

Oh. Wait. You are promoting Burger King Breakfast???? I didn’t realize that, I was too distracted WATCHING A WOMAN SHOWERING. Breakfast. Right. That makes sense, because you shower in the morning, then head out to get a BK breakfast sandwich. It all makes sense now. Uh, yeah.

Now your typical guy will probably be pathetically lured into this, because c’mon, we’re guys and we’re weak. We’ll watch live based on the .ooooo1% chance that something will go wrong and her bikini will accidentally burst off, exposing the BK Shower Babe for all the world to see. Sorry kiddos, but there is definitely no nudity, these videos are about as CLEAN as it gets (Haha! See what I did there? Clean? Huh? Clean? Get it? Cause it’s a shower?  Comedy GOLD).

The question to ask now is not what possessed Burger King to launch this website, but rather why did they take it down in basically two weeks time? Now I’m sure the official BK company line is that they always planned for this to be a quick promotion and it ran its course…blah, blah, blah. Bullshit. If the site was getting flooded with millions of visitors and drawing favorable coverage left and right, they would have definitely kept the site running. Furthermore, even if they only contracted the woman to do two weeks worth of showers (wow, it feels dirty just writing that…haha! get it? dirty?) wouldn’t they re-hire her for additional weeks if it proved to be a viral hit? Or even if the promotion had run its course, why not leave the site up for people to watch the old videos rather than essentially hiding its existence behind a re-direct to a new “Taste is King” promotion?

My guess? Burger King saw the consumer, online and press reaction to this and decided to pull the plug prematurely.  While Burger King doesn’t shy away from controversial advertising that gets people talking, this campaign had a notably stalker-esque and creepy feel to it. For a company that already centers so much of its marketing around a creepy, stalkerish mascot, it may have decided, in retrospect, that allowing its customers to watch a woman showering was just one small, creepy step away from drilling a Porky’s style  peep-hole in a woman’s locker room so that Burger King consumers online could feast their eyes on a bevy of Burger Shots.

I don’t expect Burger King to admit this of course, but that’s my theory.

Farewell BK Shower Babe, we hardly knew you.

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