Burger King - Herb (1986) - 0:30 (USA)

Nobody wanted to find Herb. Because Herb was the most boring man on the planet. Stuart Elliot at the New York Timess called it a "Bomb. Dud. Flop. Disaster." and elaborated:

"So much abuse to heap upon one nerd. But all those harsh assessments, and more, were earned by a six-week promotional campaign deemed one of the most notorious failures in marketing history. The $40 million campaign centered on a search for Herb, the quintessential nerd, described as the only person never to have been to a Burger King. The payoff came during the Super Bowl, when Burger King declared "Herb loves the Whopper" and promised he would visit a Burger King in every state to give out prizes. America's response: Huh? If a nerd eats at Burger King, what does that say about me? So sales went nowhere. But the Burger King account did, leaving Thompson a year later in one of the biggest switches in advertising history."

The character of Herb was to tour all the Burger King's in America, and the first person to find him would win $5,000 - and a shot at winning a cool $1 million.

Ad agency: J. Walter Thompson
Creative Director: James Patterson
Creative Director: Hal Friedman
AssociateCreative Director: Brian Sitts

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Dabitch's picture

The famous failure of 1986 - America didn't buy it and the game flopped.

Mets82's picture

Who was Herb?

tod.brody's picture

Exactly, who the hell was Herb!