A&W recounts '80s burger marketing fail

Mascot Rooty the Great Root Bear tries to make up for the flub in Cornett's spot.

Back in the 1980s, A&W tried to compete with McDonald’s Quarter Pounder burger by offering its 1/3 Pound Burger. 

A&W’s burger boasted more meat than the Quarter Pounder — and for the same price. It seemed like an obvious win, but the 1/3 Pound Burger’s launch was a disaster. 

Customers thought a burger with 1/3 pound of meat was smaller than 1/4 pound, because three is a smaller number than four. 

A&W is rebranding it’s 1/3  Pound Burger to the 3/9 Pound Burger to help mathematically challenged customers. In the spot, A&W’s mascot Rooty the Great Root Bear does math calculations on a chalkboard and an abacus to understand what went wrong. 

The restaurant chain claims it had its "best mathematicians working day in and day out, trying to crack the uncrackable code, solving the unsolvable equation to claw our way back from this embarrassing episode."

Ultimately, A&W learned the reason was because "Americans are just terrible at math. Like, really bad."

The spot ends with the tagline, "It’s bigger, genius."