Burger King travels over 20,000 miles to find people who have never heard of the WHOPPER and perform the world’s purest taste test. These are the Whopper Virgins.
This campaign makes me want to vomit.
Millions of dollars dumped into a highly produced, pseudo-scientific taste-test administered to unsuspecting burger-illiterate people in some of the world’s poorest countries. Using the language of science these self-involved ad-men thought it would be genius to get a “real” taste test and thus once and for all settle the dispute between the competing junk-foods. This would be “fine” if it was done in the same tongue-in-cheek manner as their other campaigns, but its not. They come off as genuinely interested researchers, fascinated by their findings in this global experiment that adheres to all the scientific standards (as they keep hammering home in the video on their site).
I guess the logic is that if we can just “prove” that Whoppers taste better than Big Macs, then people will finally start buying Whoppers more than they currently do. We’ll do this by getting people with completely different tastes from the American consumer, you know the people that actually eat this crap, to make that choice. Voila! Proof.
Crispin Porter does it again! So clever and smart I bet they’ll get lots of awards for this completely dishonest publicity stunt, and hopefully more kids will choose Burger King as the provider of choice for their obesity and diabetes. Well done fellas, and from the looks of it you had some really eye-opening cultural experiences in the process (sarcasm flowing freely). Good for you (and again).
As image manipulators and communicators we have to be the regulators of our own industry. Blatant deception and disinformation needs to be called out and discouraged. Sadly, odds are the industry will do the complete opposite. Lauding praise for this brazen new way of mixing science and manipulation in an edgy new format.
Lets mass-murder some more cows, get more kids addicted to junk-nutrition, and destroy our planet, but lets do it in HD! Brilliant!
— UPDATE —
This article from AdWeek does a good job of describing the shortcomings of this campaign. I think this is the most poignant and substantial indictment:
BK sees a certain purity in this madness. Russ Klein, president of global marketing strategy and innovation, says in the press release: “During a time when consumers are craving it most, honesty and transparency are the heart and soul of this campaign. By embarking on a voyage of this magnitude that held no guarantees and left us open to vulnerabilities, we took a leap of faith that our signature product would win people over at first bite.”
See, that’s where they get in trouble — claiming it’s transparent. Attention-getting, yes. Diabolically clever, uh-huh. But it’s advertising, and there’s nothing honest about it.
I have never heard the words transparency, honesty, heart, or soul so completely misused as in this context. Have you NO shame man?