Imagine sitting in the car with the windows down on a sunny afternoon waiting in the drive–thru lane with five cars ahead of you to place your order for a Double–Double burger with cheese, fries and Coke from In–N–Out Burger.
After your money exchanges hands with the drive–thru employee, you’re handed a white bag that smells divine and then your mouth is watering while your stomach begins to grumble.
You pull over in the parking lot practically ripping the bag open and start shoving salty fries in your mouth as your other hand reaches in to pull out your piping, juicy hot burger.
You’re so hungry, you start tearing into the burger dripping the ‘special sauce’ on your shirt that you fail to notice the USC Trojan logo starring up at you.
First, you wonder why in the world is there a USC logo on your hamburger bun instead of a UCLA Bruins logo, which by the way is the collegiate team you root for and school you graduated from, but is the logo on my bun going to harm me?
Then you think, ‘Again, why is there a logo on my hamburger bun?’
To show their support for the Ragin’ Cajuns down in Lafayette, Louisiana, SONIC Drive–Ins has decided to create a new one–of–a–kind hamburger and put the University of Louisiana’s school logo on hamburger buns for a unique sponsorship.
“We wanted a fun and different way to support the Ragin’ Cajuns and the edible logo seemed like a great fit,” said Ted Kergan, local SONIC franchisee.
“Putting a school logo on a bun has never been done before in the area or at SONIC. We are excited to offer this menu item to our customers and for the opportunity to promote the university.”
The edible Ragin’ Cajuns logo isn’t the only special part of the new burger. It will contain locally produced products like Tabasco Brand spicy mayonnaise and a packet of Tony Chachere’s creole seasoning is included as a lagniappe. Kickin’ Cajun fried onions and pepper jack cheese will complete the unique flavor profile of the Ragin’ Cajun burger.
“Every year, we get requests for use of the Ragin’ Cajun trademark, but this is the most unique opportunity we’ve had to promote the university and our team,” said UL coach Mark Hudspeth. “Ordering this hamburger is a great way to show support for our team and I know that I will have one every week to get ready for the upcoming game!”
While the concept is definitely unusually, there hasn’t been a company out there yet that has actually put their logo identity on a hamburger bun or any other food item, unless it was a sticker like one you would find on a Chiquita banana.
However, candy companies have been putting their name on their products such as Hershey, M&Ms and Kit Kit for years, but that process is done after the candy is made and with a special machine at the plant.
No candy company has yet to put an actual edible color logo identity on their candy.
Technically, M&Ms don’t count because of the candy–coated shell.
Although it’s extremely important for companies to continue branding their image by putting their logo identity on marketing materials such as business cards, promotional products, websites, social networking websites, postcards, ads, and much more, it does seem a little extreme to put it on an actual product unless it’s something that is not edible.
True, car, clothing, electronic, technical and so many more companies do put their logo identity on their products as a way to enforce their brand with consumers, but you don’t eat those products.
The idea for putting the Ragin’ Cajun logo on their hamburger buns is definitely an unusual one especially since the company headquarters is located in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma and didn’t even consider sharing the sponsorship with the University of Oklahoma – a college in their own backyard.
While logos can either convey a positive or negative message with consumers, SONIC’s decision is generating mostly negative reactions from people.
A few comments people have said regarding a logo on a hamburger bun, “Those logo prints taste awful. We’ll probably learn in 5 years they cause cancer too.”
“Advertising is simply out of control.”
“I don’t mind wearing my favorite team logo, but eating it? That’s an entirely different story.”
“This is going to be expensive just because of the logo. Anything to nickel and dime people.”
“When they said “branded” I thought that they were just going to have a hot iron press that would toast the logo into the bun. That seems a little more natural and burger–like than a food dye one.”
Luckily for Angelinos, there won’t be any sales of hamburgers with either the USC or UCLA logos in the Los Angeles area as the only SONIC locations that are in close proximity are down in Orange County or Duarte, CA off the 210 Freeway a little south of Monrovia.
But even if SONIC did put on USC and UCLA logos on their hamburger buns for the school year, many Angelinos still prefer the taste of an In–N–Out Burger – logo or no logo – because that’s what a hamburger is all about.