Tuesday, August 24, 2004

Baggler Bashing

Ever heard of a "baggler?" Me neither. Neither has anyone else. It's a made up word. Unfortunately it's the worst kind of made up word. It might as well be a new character on the Tele-tubbies. But it's not. It's a market-tested, self-consciously cute, cry for help. It's also the term for a stray french fry in a Burger King bag. Says the company in a USA Today article from last March:

Hoping to stir conversation — and bring in some fun — the new ad agency has even developed a Burger King lingo that will appear on cups and bags. The refill becomes a "freefill." And that lone french fry sitting at the bottom of the food bag becomes a "baggler."

"We're not a brand that lacks fame," explains global marketing chief Russ Klein. "We're a brand that lacks emotional connection."

Horrid, awful, very-bad idea. The only people who will ever emotionally connect to Burger King are not likely to be found in the hip, affluent, trend-setter crowd. They're the sort of people who mutter to themselves, don't change clothing for days, and write fiery letters to the editor warning about secret government human experiments involving airplane contrails. This is not the sort of person to take the "baggler" as a wry little joke.

Imagine the state of mind of someone with an unhealthy emotional connection to the perennial loser of fast food establishments, and imagine further coming across this description on your take-out bag (as Dave Barry would say, I am not making this up):

Official Baggler Procedure

French fries that have attempted to escape from their container only to strand themselves in the bottom of the bag are called "bagglers." Bagglers are fair game. The first to open the bag and retrieve the baggler gets to eat the baggler. Therefore, it is in one's best interest to be the keeper of the bag.

Now our "emotionally connected" BK patron has visions of French fries trying to escape... people lurking over his shoulder to snatch the "bagglers" from his bag should his guard drop for a second... and wasn't that a contrail lingering in the sky as he entered the restaurant? This poor fellow is being driven to the edge of some sort of nervous breakdown. We can only hope he hurts no one other than himself when it happens.

Note to Burger King - drop the baggler nonsense before someone gets hurt.


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