Wimpy – Re-birth of a Brand?

As we approach the Easter break, the origins of the holiday surrounding re-birth and resurrection got us thinking. In the past, brands such as Burberry or even Apple have fallen upon hard times where their recovery seemed as unlikely as Leicester City taking the Premier League crown. As an agency who prides themselves on their abilities to breathe new life into brands, who or what is out there that could be a candidate for a comeback akin to Harold Bishop’s miraculous return to Ramsey Street?

Wimpy is Britain’s oldest surviving fast-food chain and dates back to the mid-50s. In the late 80s there was a Wimpy on virtually every high street. What happened to this once great institution and is there an opportunity for the brand to be reborn in the age of Kim Kardashian (not Wilde)?

In 1989 Wimpy was sold to the food group Grand Metropolitan, the one time owners of Burger King who were relative unknowns in the UK. Everyone’s Wimpy burger soon became a Whopper as Burger King swiftly wiped them out from their key positions on the high streets. Since that decline some come backs have been mooted but seemingly never strongly backed from within. The chips are certainly down with the brand lacking a foothold in the market or any real stamp of identity.

Is there enough good feeling and nostalgia for Wimpy Bars that with a good grilling an agency could help re-establish their once lofty position? Although they’ve got beef with Burger King along with McDonald’s, KFC et al, why compete on their level; can their traditional table service and unquestionably British heritage serve as a platform to make this brand great again? Why not celebrate the fact they were genuine innovators who introduced burgers to the UK? If they were to refocus on their original core product, perhaps introducing beer and a more adult atmosphere, there could be an opportunity to tap into a restaurant market where they have such a legitimate claim to it’s origins.

We’ve imagined a rebrand to try and draw out the British cool that lurks within Wimpy Bars through a classic type/colour combination that sits alongside some more playful 50s/60s inspired patterns relating back to items on the menu. With some buzz created off the back of the rebrand, word of mouth and clever use of social media could be the tools that propel this sleeping giant back to its former glory. Surely someone would relish the opportunity…

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