Kareem Black Captures “The Scent of Seduction” for Burger King

The Communication Arts 50th anniversary Advertising Annual is out! Juror Paul Little, Creative Director at TBWA/Vancouver, was quoted saying “the most innovative work is in the online and integrated categories” with one of the big winners in integrated being Crispin Porter + Bogusky’s work for Burger King. The campaign was accompanied by wild postings, online banners, live TV commercials and an online and mobile tool at, a site designed to help you get your game on once you got your “flame on.”

Kareem Black, who B&A is proud to announce his joining, shot the print component of the campaign. Kareem captured the Burger King’s spokesperson “The King” in various alluring tableaus where he beckons the viewer to experience ”The Flame” body spray scent, complete with a hint of flame broiled meat.

During the initial creative talks with CP+B, Black was incredulous about the entire concept. “They asked me to shoot an ad for a beef-scented body spray, I figured that they were just joking around,” says Black. Putting his disbelief aside, Black flew out to Boulder, Colorado to shoot “The King.” Since this was the debut of “The King’s” bare chest, a special casting was done in order to find a model with the right mixture of chest hair and muscles. Explains Black, “We were trying to design the scene like the Burt Reynolds Playgirl spread from the 70’s. The story was that this was The King’s love den and he was inviting the viewer to come-hither.”

The image of The King scantily strewn along a bearskin rug against a warm fire in a rustic cabin was posted all over cities at the beginning of 2009. Black followed up the advertisement with an image that further boosted The King’s virile image. This time, Black shot on location in the honeymoon suite of a couple’s resort in the Poconos, NY. The King sits in a heart-shaped tub with lit candles and rose petal accents. The 2nd advertisement debuted in time for Valentine’s Day.

The absurdity of the situation stayed with Black until he saw the final advertisements running. “Why is the Burger King mascot selling body spray? For the same reason he’s playing football,” said Black, referring to another of Crispin’s subversive ads for Burger King where The King nonchalantly runs down the football field. “Crispin’s Burger King ads are hilarious, innovative, strange, scary, and unique… they leave you with a question mark, but you always remember them.”

-Helen Shih

From the blazing blog of B&A Reps

Thanks Helen!

We love Kareem Black around these parts
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