Is 27 Years Too Long For A Banner That Says “Best Hamburger In Southern California?”

The 2 Guyz on Marketing think “yes.” Why? Multiple reasons.

2 Guyz Larry remembers the on-air radio contest in 1991 on the once famous Ken and Barkley Company radio program. It was back when radio personalities were media stars of the city, and wielded a lot of clout.

Larry decided to go recently  with a former student and have a hamburger from Hamburger Habit at 11223 National Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90064. Over the years Londre has always doubted the use of this banner which says “Best Hamburger.”  But more than his quest for the perfect burger, he is a lifelong collector of marketing and advertising stories.

So many things are wrong with the posting of this banner. Is the claim true? Well, it was once judged best by a radio show, so that is true. Were they the best? Maybe. Are they still? Highly unlikely. (Does anything stay “best” that long?)

But most importantly, it’s been too darn long to claim the results from a 1991 radio station promotion!

Both of the 2 Guyz on Marketing teach and work in marketing, advertising and promotion. In our classes, this brings up issues of advertising ethics, honesty in advertising, and sound business practice (or lack of).

Sales promotion includes several communications activities, under Promotion in the nine P’s of Marketing, that attempt to provide added value or incentives to wholesalers, retailers, or consumers to stimulate immediate sales. These efforts or activities attempt to stimulate product interest, trial, or purchase. Sales promotion is the process of persuading a potential customer to buy the product. Sales promotion is designed to be used as a short-term tactic to boost sales.

Why do companies and advertising agencies use sales promotion? To promote an increase in sales, usage or trial of a product or service.

Larry and his former student agreed that it may not be the best hamburger within three blocks of National and Sepulveda.  For many reasons it’s not appropriate to use the banner.  I would bet no one who was part of the “study” even works at KABC anymore. I would also bet they have changed suppliers and employees multiple times, too.

Legally, the FTC gave us the “6 Month Rule”, which basically states a “new product” is new for 6 months. An advertiser cannot promote a new product is new forever. (That’s why a lot of products do smaller innovations more frequently, so that can continually “legally” claim to be new, or “new and improved”).

But simply it’s not good to say you “were”, if you “are not”. And even if you “were” back then, 27 years is just too long.