Harvey’s ‘architects’ a new Burger Boss campaign

Harvey’s has taken its “Be a Burger Boss” ad platform from the locker room to the boardroom with new ads from Toronto’s Giants & Gentlemen.

The campaign promoting its Big Harv burger continues with the creative concept that the ability to customize their hamburger gives Harvey’s customers an over-inflated sense of their power, leading them to believe they’re similarly powerful in non-restaurant situations.

The new campaign, which includes TV and social, is anchored by a new 30-second spot featuring a man in an architectural firm loudly complaining to co-workers about a new condo project, noting that the dimensions in a scale model are “way off” and ordering the people who built it to show themselves.

“Do these barbecues even work?” he says angrily, indicating the mini grills on the scale models.

The perspective then shifts to show two co-workers discussing the situation, while the man can still be heard loudly complaining in the background. One notes that it’s because he was able top his Harvey’s burger with extra pickles. “Now he thinks he’s in charge of everything.”

The spot concludes by cutting back to the incensed intern. “Am I the only one who knows how to architect?” he asks in a humorous example of verbing.

Directed by Partners Films’ Ben/Dave, the TV spot is being supported by a series of social posts presenting portraits of everyday customers whose power to get their burger their way leads to them earning titles such as “Executive director of jalapeños” and “The president of hot sauce.”

“Customizable burger toppings have long been a decision-making power reserved for Harvey’s patrons,” said Brandon Tralman-Baker, associate creative director at Giants & Gentlemen. “And while we all report to someone, when you top your Harvey’s burger just the way you want it, you start feeling like the head honcho, the big cheese [or] the CEO of extra pickles.”

The campaign launched earlier this month, and is running through Sept. 26 with a broadcast buy that includes a heavy emphasis on sports channels including Sportsnet and TSN, as well as specialty services including Discovery, History, CP24 and Comedy.

After spending several years focused on more tactical advertising, the Recipe Unlimited banner adopted the more brand-focused approach earlier this year.

“The brief was all about customization, which is unique to Harvey’s in this category,” said Giants & Gentlemen co-founder and chief creative officer Alanna Nathanson at the time. “The insight we uncovered was that many of us feel powerless in our jobs and lives. Our creative brief honed in on this with the main message: at Harvey’s, we don’t make the best burgers, you do.”

Chris Powell