“Who was Herb?” This was the question Burger King asked America. One of the only pieces of information that the public knew about this elusive Herb character was that he had never eaten at the chain. America had to figure out who he was and if they spotted him, they’d be handsomely rewarded.
As Mental Floss reports, customers were on the lookout for a man in outdated geeky clothes and thick-rimmed glasses, played by actor Jon Menick. If they could spot this bizarre character roaming their Burger King location, they’d be eligible to walk away with a few thousand dollars — or even a million if they were lucky. While there were some minor controversies related to the search for Herb, such as one young man from Alabama spotting Herb but not receiving the cash prize due to a minimum age loophole, eventually a man by the name of Christopher Kelly walked away with the million-dollar prize (via UPI).
Despite doing everything they could to make Herb the most popular man in America, even including him as a guest on WrestleMania (via Mental Floss), Herb didn’t stick around. People eventually lost interest in who Herb was after a while and, besides, a man named Herb didn’t really get anyone craving a Whopper. The Chicago Tribune reported that in 1986, Burger King abandoned the idea altogether. Herb wasn’t the first marketing stunt Burger King pulled that fell on its face, and it wouldn’t be the last.
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