Burger King serves up ‘Teletubbies’ promos

Tie-in battling Fox's 'Menace'

Burger King Corp. will transform most of its 7,900 units around the country into Teletubbylands next week and even serve up “tubby custard” as part of its extensive promotion with the Itsy Bitsy Entertainment Co.

The promotion, slated to run Monday though June 20, will kick off with a special 30-second “Teletubbies” commercial created by Burger King agency Ammirati Puris Lintas.

Itsy Bitsy marketing director Jayni Horn said Tuesday that neither the PBS hit “Teletubbies” nor Burger King was afraid to do promo battle with the “Star Wars” prequel, which, with its May 19 release, will embark on the tie-in of all times with Tricon Global Restaurants units KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell.

Horn’s confidence has to do with “Star Wars'” older-skewing core demo of teen-aged boys.

For wee ones

By contrast, she said, the “Teletubbies” promo will be under the auspices of the Burger King Kids Club, the cornerstone of fast-food chain’s marketing program for kids aged two to 11.

“Teletubbies” skews a bit younger — children aged one and up — resulting in a Kids Club program that attempts to go even younger than usual. Every premium has been “zero age-graded,” meaning safe for children of all ages.

Hugs will happen

Aficionados will be pleased to learn that the puppets for Tinky Winky, Dipsy, Laa-Laa and Po are all outfitted with strategically-placed Velcro to permit the characters’ signature “big hugs.”

The piece de resistance, however, is “tubby custard” — a favorite snack of Tinky Winky & Gang on the show, marketed by Itsy Bitsy on behalf of “Teletubbies” U.K. producer Ragdoll Prods.

Kraft Foods invented the snack as an extension of its Jell-O brand exclusively for Burger King, thus qualifying “tubby custard” as the first dessert item created for a kids promotion.

Horn said the effort marked the first national food promotion for the “Teletubbies,” as well.