BK to put the King in cell-phone games

MIAMI Burger King Corp. plans to use an emerging form of entertainment as a new marketing medium by inserting its brand into downloadable cell-phone games.

The Miami-based company said Friday that it has signed a licensing deal with mobile-content provider Mobliss Inc. to create the games, which will feature Burger King branded content.

The new initiative will build on the success Burger King had with its three branded Xbox games last year and the integration of its brand into such top-selling video games as “Fight Night,” “Need For Speed” and “NFL Street,” said Russ Klein, president of global marketing, strategy and innovation for the 11,000-plus unit chain.

The initial cell-phone game, expected to debut next spring, will allow players to become the protégé of the King, the chain’s ad icon, by completing progressively difficult challenges in a virtual Burger King-themed city.

The chain said it would promote the games through in-store signage and packaging, and customers will be able to download and buy the games by sending a text message.

Seattle-based Mobliss has direct publishing agreements with Sprint, AT&T, U.S. Cellular, Verizon, Alltel and T-Mobile.