What “grinds my gears” about the latest Burger King mouldy Whopper ad is the following:
1) Working in the advertising industry for a competitor brand for years, enabled me to know so much about both brands and their competitors, and know their strategy, visual style and know how decorate and shoot an uncooked/inedible burger that looks so tasty you’d want to lick the ad. That burger in this ad is NOT edible. It is NOT a real burger that you can pick from the restaurant, it is a styled, probably raw-sandwich that is NOT anything like what you would get in a Burger King.
2) Shooting such burgers requires a food photography stylist that will actually do all the tricks to perfect the burger, from gluing the sesame seeds on the bun to make it look perfect, to burning the raw meet with a food gun and colour it with pigment to make it look appealing, use hairspray on the vegetables to make them look fresh and curvy. And many many many other tricks. Here’s a very “basic” example.
3) This is a low-hit on the old McDonald’s PR attacks of their burgers staying in shape for years. Not the fact that all fast food is packed with preservatives and chemicals, or sorry let me correct myself “Quick Service Restaurants”, but we actually eat the food the moment we buy it and our bodies eject it the next morning.
4) Everyone who saw this were repulsed by it, I will always remember Burger King now as the moldy, disgusting option and opt in for any competitor, have this been tested with focus groups or just made quickly for a Cannes Lion – making it memorable for all of the wrong reasons.
5) The funny thing is that “this” (what you see in the ad) has nothing to do with preservatives. The difference between this and other burgers is the difference in water activity, but taking advantage of consumers lack of knowledge and claiming it’s about preservatives when it’s not, is called fear-based marketing.
And because it’s time-lapsed, it gives the subliminal impression that Whoppers turn moldy faster than they should. I do note that the ad isn’t appearing on TV – so it’s being passed around on social media for shock value only… but I can see right through the Emperor’s clothes on this one, and don’t like what I see…
That said – does this ad make you consider buying a Whopper for lunch? How much do you trust the kitchen at Burger King to make sure your burger doesn’t look like this before they serve it to you? 🙃 Here’s hoping they maintain their preservative-free commitment with an even stronger commitment to in restaurant order fulfilment procedures, and customer experience.
Also, this is probably what DAVID (the agency behind the ad) thought was a hit to both McDonald’s and Wendy’s, with the latters’ campaign “Always fresh, never frozen” where Burger King lost a dispute against Wendy’s for that (around 12 years ago, too late BK. Too late)
Now, somebody might pop in and say “They’re not trying to appeal to everyone with this ad, it’s made for a certain group of people, the very health conscious, and to them it will sell.”
The “very health conscious” will never eat a Burger King sandwich, not even on a cheat day. So let’s look at the real reason behind this. Getting advertising awards to get the account running.
The real question here is: Does anyone actually believe that people who care about “preservatives” are eating Burger King?! 🤷♂️