Fast-food giant planning promotional campaigns

Burger King is treating “The Simpsons” like royalty.

Fast-food giant is pacting with 20th Century Fox Licensing & Merchandising for a massive fourth-quarter promotional campaign built around the toon family. Effort will kick off with a Halloween-themed promotion — but unlike previous campaigns, BK plans to extend its “Simpsons”-themed promotions beyond Halloween, with new campaigns kicking off in November and December.

Halloween promotion starts today with “Simpsons Creepy Classics” toys hitting kids meals across the chain of 11,450 restaurants. Toys will be tied to classic horror pics, with “Simpsons” characters playing off such feature icons as Frankenstein or King Kong.

For adults, BK is serving up a “Simpsons”-inspired “Freaky Float” — essentially an Orange Creamsicle-flavored milk shake. All of the BK promotions serve to indirectly promote the Nov. 3 “Simpsons Treehouse of Horror XIII” spec airing on Fox.

BK will support the entire effort with a 30-second TV spot featuring original “Simpsons” animation. Created by Campbell-Mithun, spots will boast appearances by the “Simpsons” clan and green-tentacled alien Kang.

“It’s frightening how successful last year’s in-restaurant Halloween festivities and the ‘Simpsons’ promotion were,” said Rick Dow, senior VP of marketing programs and sales for Burger King. “We had to bring it all back for another year.”

Peter Byrne, exec VP of Fox Licensing & Merchandising, said the strong appeal of “The Simpsons” with teens and kids makes the skein a logical marketing tie-in for BK.

No word yet on the specifics of BK’s November and December “Simpsons” promotions.

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