Week in Sponsorship

by Jamie Packs & Elias Bresnick

published April 10, 2015

Whopper of a Wedding

Wedding announcement photos are surely the pinnacle of elegance. Typically set in some idyllic pastoral scene, or perhaps against a timeless white background, the photos serve as a means to express a couples’ love to friends, family, exes. An Illinois couple, however, is changing things up with their recent decision to take their wedding announcement photo in front of America’s (almost) favorite fast food chain, Burger King. And this decision is paying off big time.

Last week, Burger King announced their support of the wedding between Joel Berger and Ashley King, stating that they would pay for all wedding expenses and give gifts to the couple. Unsurprisingly, the decision has gone viral.

The romance between the pair goes way back. Berger and King, now 24 and 23 years old respectively, met in Kindergarten while growing up in New Berlin, Illinois. The connection between their names, however, wasn’t pointed out until a motivational speaker visited their school in the fifth grade and made a joke about it. Nonetheless, it seems to have stuck.

Hyphenated names may be in vogue these days, but Joel Berger and Ashley King are taking things to the next level. Berger and King, however, are not outwardly making their decision based on any notion of gender equality, but rather as a means to express their strange devotion to the fast food chain. And Burger King could not be happier about the potential PR possibilities. After hearing about the coincidence, the company exuberantly tweeted, “Mr. Berger and Mrs. King? Is this real life? Please help us find this amazing couple. #BurgerKingWedding”

Imagining the themed wedding between the couple is the stuff that wedding planners’ dreams are made of. The couple has already divulged their plan to give their guests koozies with a wedding photo on one side and the Burger King logo on the other, but the possibilities are truly endless: burger-shaped ice sculptures, paper crowns for all, fluorescent lighting, a wedding cake made from the supple buns of the Whopper.

I’m just hoping that the Hamburglar doesn’t make an unwanted appearance. –JP


Edge of Yesterday’s Tomorrow

Have you seen the new type of ad popping up everywhere on TV lately? I’m sure you have. Frenetic montages of humans absorbed in mesmerizing feats of skill and daring sweep across the screen; a motorcyclist flips three times in the air and lands leaf-light, his tires hitting the ground with moon-rover-like weightlessness; a snowboarder tears down a pristine white snow-face with the swaggering casualness of a shirtless spring-breaker sauntering down the beach; the obligatory badass wing-suit guy hurtles through a gap the size of a prenatal infant. I won’t try to deny it: I love these advertisements. When YouTube offers me the skip button five seconds in, I’ll sit and watch the rest before going on to view the original extreme sports montage video I’d clicked on. These ads, meant to instill the viewer with a sense of the epic, the sublime, are immensely entertaining in and of themselves. They’re beyond words. They need no words.

That’s why the prolixity of Adidas’ recent Take It campaign, featuring numerous professional athletes the likes of Gareth Bale and John Wall, was particularly heinous. The ad features quick moving sports scenes set to a mounting drum beat. A man narrates: “The last goal doesn’t matter. The last victory, already forgotten. Yesterday is gone. Lost in the record books, but today is up for grabs. Unpredictable. Unwritten. Undecided. Now is ours. Do something and be remembered, or do nothing and be forgotten. No one owns today. Take it.” Aside from undoubtedly breaking some sort of record for the longest string of trite terse platitudes in a single sports ad, Adidas commits the cardinal sin of making absolutely no sense. Forget that the words are unimaginative and witless, they simply don’t add up. The ad sets itself up as a celebration of the present: “yesterday is gone…today is up for grabs,” fair enough. But when it goes on to provide the rationale for why athletes strives to win, the words run, “do something and be remembered. Do nothing and be forgotten.” Huh? I thought yesterday is gone. How can you be remembered if the previous day doesn’t exist? Do you see what I’m saying here? Adidas is dangling an ever-receding carrot in front of our leporine noses! It’s almost dystopic—scrapping and battling each day only to have the fruits of your labor forgotten by the time the sun rises. What I mean to say is, stop talking. Show me that dude in the wing suit traversing the infant sized hole again. –EB