Hipster Dad Version Of Hamburglar Fails To Sell McDonald’s Sirloin Burgers

Image courtesy of Is he telling us to be quiet or the burger?!?

Is he telling us to be quiet or the burger?!?

Shh. Don’t talk about how no one wants to buy this burger.

The updated version of the Hamburglar, a classic McDonald’s character, had one job. He was supposed to sell “third-pounder” sirloin burgers to children of the ’70s and ’80s who grew up with the Hamburglar as part of the McDonaldLand marketing ensemble, and who are now young adult “foodies.” Yet the appeal to nostalgia and his snazzy hamburger tie weren’t enough to draw customers in to try the burger he was promoting.

The marketing campaign began back in May, as part of a push to assure Americans that McDonald’s really does use actual food in its menu items. Along with the Third-Pounder sirloin burger, they also offered an Artisan Grilled Chicken sandwich, continuing marketers’ efforts to drain all meaning from the word “artisan.”

A McDonald’s spokesperson told Bloomberg Business that the “didn’t meet [the company’s] expectations,” but we haven’t heard whether the company has freezers packed full of ground steak, like what happened when their Mighty Wings venture failed to take flight. The burger was always intended as a temporary menu item, though, and the McD’s spokesperson points out that the people who they were able to coax into restaurants to try the burger liked it. “Seventy-six percent of customers who tried the sirloin burger said their opinion of McDonald’s beef improved,” she points out, though the poll doesn’t specify where their opinion of McDonald’s beef started out.

The fast-foodery is still finding their way with this campaign: around the time the Hamburglar returned, they posted signs that sounded more like a threat to hamburgle customers’ pantries. As part of an effort to assure customers that they are no longer using bricks of ammonia-blasted beef trimmings, or “pink slime,” the company somehow thought that a callback to pink slime on its placemats was a good idea.

Hamburglar Generates Buzz But Not Burger Sales for McDonald’s [Bloomberg Business]

Want more consumer news? Visit our parent organization, Consumer Reports, for the latest on scams, recalls, and other consumer issues.