Absurdly Driven looks at the world of business with a skeptical eye and a firmly rooted tongue in cheek. 


New ideas can sometimes be old ideas heated up.

Pinterest is just scrapbooking. Google is just an encyclopedia. Tinder is just an orgy.

It seems that the princes at Burger King sat around the grill and searched for the flame of an old idea.

And there it was: The hot dog.

As the Verge reported, Burger King sees this is a complement to its Whopper -- an iPad to its whopping great iPhone.

But will customers choose to get their wieners where they get their Whoppers?

"We didn't 'crack the code' or anything like that," said Burger King's North America president Alex Macedo. "We just made a hot dog that tastes amazing, that's affordable, and it's convenient."

Oh, where's the ambition gone?

The grilled dogs come in two types -- the classic and the chili cheese.

ABC News quoted Macedo as saying: "This is probably the most obvious product launch ever."

I wonder, though, whether it's merely a stressed response to McDonald's suddenly making a success of the frightfully obvious All-Day Breakfast.

It could be that as the hurricane of recession is forecast by the meteorologists of Wall Street, America wants to hunker down and clutch onto what is familiar.

I do worry that there is a slightly disturbing kink here.

The hot dogs are being supplied by Kraft Heinz. You might recall from the Super Bowl that Heinz advertised its ketchup and mustard by showing real-life dachshunds dressed up as hot dogs, rushing toward humans dressed in sauce bottles.

This conjured the twisted image of real humans eating real dogs.

Might this new Burger King item further trouble an already troubled populace?

Or will its entry remind eaters of ballparks in the summer and trips to Coney Island when it's gloriously cold?

Perhaps Burger King will find that Americans, a people who believe in quantity, will start ordering the Burger King hot dog as an appetizer for their Whopping main course?

Introducing a new product always has its dangers. However, the traditional fast-food industry desperately needs new -- even if old -- ideas to prop up an image that's become a touch dowdy.

I had thought, though, that fast-food restaurants were aiming to be more health-conscious with offerings such as kale salad and other peculiar green items.

But no. When we're all being overtaken by the spirit of making America great again, we're being encouraged to swallow familiar refrains and traditions.

Next week: Wendy's rumored to launch grits with everything.