Yesterday I was kindly taken out for lunch. We went for burgers. A gourmet burger from Byron Burgers, I expect you’ve been. It’s a tasty burger and the service is great.
The growth of US style food joints is of the recent trends that actually pleases me, against the flow of eating healthy. About time you could get a decent burger in the UK , where you can actually state how you’d like the burger cooked. If you can’t get it done medium rare why bother. Seriously why? And with a beer at hand is a must too.
It got me thinking on the way home about where are the best burgers to be found, who makes them and how much they cost? In fact it’s something I consider a lot. The search for the best cheeseburger continues and I am not alone.
There are quite a few blogs dedicated to advise you on your search. See Burger Addict here, Young and Foodish with their Burger Monday here, Burger me here and Shortlist here.
What’s noticeable from these lists is who is not on there? No prizes for guessing.
So I began to think about the cheapest burgers in town and who makes them and what they are like compared to the best ones (according to these blogs and my experience) and who makes them. And is there a comparison with agencies?
The best burger in London is often claimed to be a Lucky Chip burger or a Bear burger. You can buy the former in a burger van in a pub car park in E2 here, or the Bear burger found here in a food stall nr Old Street some days and others else where. You have to check their twitter to be in the know, in fact the man behind them Tom, flips around and has great trade where ever.
So what is procurement and marketing heads looking for in burger terms, a gourmet £6.50 – £1o one? Or a Mc D’s cheeseburger at 89p or £3.79 Big Mac? And which are they buying? Maybe they want the gourmet one at the cheaper price.
Is there a site where you can truly compare people’s experience with agencies? Do procurement solely buy on price? Is the quality analogy even fair?
There are anomalies here and one that suits the advertising world better, because in fact brands appoint agencies that don’t deliver. We know this because of the poorest record in history for retention see my article here. Someone must be hiring badly right?
Else why the hire and fire every 2 years 6 months? But they are not hiring cheap necessarily. It’s not like they are buying the cheapest burger and suffering the consequences, it maybe worse than that.
Enter Playboy’s Hef burger at £40 before toppings, it could fetch £45 , you know after more post production, adapts and research, sorry I mean cheese, bacon or avocado. See the review here from probably the best food blogger around Cheese and Biscuits, he wrote – “Now, I hardly need to say, the Hef burger is not the greatest burger in the world. It’s probably not even the best burger at the Playboy club. ” (1/10) Just for comparison the same reviewer on Lucky Chip was 8/10 review here
Okay, so you get bragging rights that you had a burger at Hef’s place but at £40 plus, you have paid circa 5 times more than the best burgers in town. Is this merely speculation, I am not convinced it is, are you?. Like the big agencies you are paying for ‘other activities.’ i.e. experience. Which is all well and good to some extent. But style over content?
What Playboy Club do is give you an experience that has no purpose to the goal, make the best burger. You instead get and pay for bunny girl waitresses, nice environment, bar service and a choice of other food stuffs. Also not very good I might add, see C&B’s review. When you don’t specialise you get dross, they don’t do good starters, main courses or desserts. They do smiling and looking pretty. Their purpose is to make money largely from gambling I might add rather than cooking food. And so in lies the issue. What is the purpose of their restaurant?
Who runs the tastiest burger stalls in town? Burger makers that’s who. Who runs the largest agencies in town? Accountants that’s who.
Is Playboy Club and it’s burgers like big agencies today? They have the atrium, with comfy chairs and break out areas for ideation. Do everything. You are pampered. They’re too often run by bean counters. And yet it misses purpose – creative advertising.
Lets suppose for a second there are some gems of agencies out there that can produce superior work to the larger agencies with out the falafel (couldn’t resist), how would marketing directors find them?
I’ve met plenty of great small agencies that punch way over the weight that are run by creatives. They are like gourmet burgers, and actually don’t charge enough in all honesty. In fact they maybe putting marketing directors off who are used to buying Hef’s burger. Because they charge Burger King prices for Gourmet.
Some research here from The Art of New Business tells us that marketers don’t like receiving cold calls and they bin most DM and delete prospecting e-mails. At previous TAONB events we have heard that many marketers don’t even find time to read trade press. Which hardly shows them in a favourable light does it? How will they find the tastiest burgers in town? It’s off to the Playboy Clubs I expect.
I think there needs to be a trend change. The tasty burgers exist I am convinced of that. The marketers have to be prepared to go look for them because they can’t come to you it seems.
The brokers are unlikely to put gourmet burgers forward (although a few do sneak through) because they are owned (sponsored) by the big burger makers and make more money when relationships break than work. At least they come back every 2 -3 years.
Procurement rarely have a real interest in doing the leg work, they deal with what is put on the plate in front of them. And often they think it’s all about either relationships i.e. the experience or chemistry and not the meat (the purpose) else purely money So bring in the smilers, bunny girls and client services.
If you want to find the best burger in town you got to go look for it and ask around. If you want to be the best burger maker in town you have to keep making them, if you make them they will come.