First Burger King
Back in 2011, Burger King officially announced that they will no longer be using anymore kings for their advertisements. Which not many people cared when the king they were using since 2003 was a guy wearing a king mask and appears in random areas as if he was a stalker. I’ll do an article on him another time, as I feel it be more proper to do an article on Burger King’s first king. That’s right they had not only one but two kings before the recently retired king for their own advertisements minus the BK Kids Club(which I’ll do an article on them sometime in the near future). So for this week, I’ll be discussing the first king of them all.
Back in 1955, the company was already two years old and had started small in the state of Florida. The first illustration of their own king was used for their signs displayed in front of their restaurants starting at the one located in Miami(way before Tony Montana became kingpin). These signs would later be evolved from an illustration of the king to an illustration of a king sitting on a large burger dub the “burger throne”. It wasn’t until the late 60s to early 70s when Burger King decided to advertise their restaurants with an animated king. The king was short with red hair, and consisted the stereotype necessities that makes a king look like a king. Complete with robe and crown, the two characteristics that would lead any person that’s able to think immediately say “It’s a king” upon seeing the Burger King. The king star in a series of commercials where he either orders something from the menu or present small gifts to the kids that want his autograph or just watch him in amazement cause he’s king of his own fast food corporation. After the scenario, the commercial concludes with the slogan “Burger King, where kids are king”.
The commercials have a similar quality to the School House Rock series, but sadly Bill from Capital Hill is nowhere to be seen. The king was voice by the late Allen Swift(original voice of Underdog’s arch-enemies Riff Raff & Simon Bar Sinister(who were a bald scientist and a wolf in the original cartoon, not a non bald scientist and Doberman in the movie). The king would be replaced by his successor in the 1970s where it was a live actor portraying him instead of a cartoon character, but that’s a story for another time. The original king would make one last appearance in BK’s ads as a puppet retaining his appearance with the exception of his medallion now resembling the current logo used in the mid 2000’s rather than the original logo from the 50s. This puppet give away occurred sometime before the abolishment of the current mask king. After that, the original king became just a memory from the past.
In opinion, this king was an amusing character. While the commercials are as similar as a 60’s animated cartoon, the ads were a product of their time. Also interesting to see what the restaurant was like back then. There were still cardboard crowns that come with a kid’s meal, but instead of a soft drink it’s a shake that comes with every meal. The same went with McDonald’s first kid’s meal which also came with a shake. The king’s no comparison to his 2000’s successor, it’s like how original Riff-Raff & Simon were no comparisons to their live action counterparts. I know I just mention them, but it’s ironic that both the king and them were voiced by Allen Swift and both were ridicule by the public due to their future unusual appearances. I apologize if I sound like I’m trying to attack the live action Underdog, but the last time I watch that film, I thought it was an out rage towards the original cartoon. Yes it was just a live action cartoon adaption, but I’m glad I’m not part of the current youth generation cause least I remember an era where people refer to Underdog as an independent shoe shining dog who has no master and not refer to him as a pet dog name “Shoeshine” instead of “Shoeshine Boy”. I could rant on about my complaints of the Underdog movie, but I’ll save it for another article. For now enjoy the commercials I found on the first Burger King. For next week I’ll be doing a nutritious article for the first time, which will be Sprout a friend of the Jolly Green Giant.