Do You Want Flies With That?

Have you seen the new ad for Burger King? It’s a time-lapse video of a rotting Whopper.  The spot intends to promote their shift away from preservatives.  Fair warning, it’s disgusting. But you can’t look away.

Experts are divided whether this is a brilliant, disruptive campaign, or marketing suicide.  See what you think.

Some will applaud Burger King’s daring effort to show the shocking effects of artificial ingredients on their prized Whopper. So, congrats to Burger King on finally removing preservatives. McDonald’s ditched them in 2018.

But wait! Hold the mold!

This is the same Whopper they’ve been selling us for decades! Now, with no apologies, Burger King makes light of their crappy quality and expects us to just forgive and forget. Sorry, but when people see this ad, they’ll feel repulsed, and not grasp the part about preservatives. It’s too easy to get your burger fix elsewhere.

And shouldn’t preservatives make food last longer?

Here’s my take: Make no mistake, this ad will bite Burger King on their buns.

That said, this would make a great, viral ad…for McDonalds. What an opportunity to re-position Burger King as the ‘Home of the Moldy Whopper’.

This clip may draw millions of views on YouTube. But we’ll only remember the decaying burger – and lose our appetite. By the time the tag line appears, we’re nauseous. And no amount of brain bleach can destroy the image of that Whopper smothered in green fuzz.

To paraphrase the old Wendy’s ad, “Where’s the benefit?” Sure, people want to eat healthier. But there’s no mention of why the new Whopper is better. Not even a “Try it for a Buck” offer.

This one’s gonna hurt.



Beau Phillips is President of Rainmaker Media. 
He’s a creative marketing consultant, strategist and speaker.
Reach him at 203-256-9347 

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