Burger King pulls some outrageous stunts, most at the expense of McDonald’s. This, Burger King’s Moldy Whopper by not one but three agencies – Ingo, David and Publicis – tops them all. The hero film is a high-resolution time-lapse sequence of a Whopper being overtaken by mould over 34 days.
The print and OOH features close-ups of the mouldy burger. The tagline, the beauty of no artificial preservatives, is accurate. In a nauseating way, the images are beautiful.
They do make you feel slightly ill though.
The campaign idea came from Ingo and highlights the brand’s commitment to removing artificial preservatives. How many of those do you remember? You’ll remember this one. Does that trump people’s revulsion reflex?
Burger King has already removed preservatives across much of Europe as well as 400 Burger King restaurants in the US. By the end of 2020 it will have removed artificial preservatives from Whoppers in all US restaurants.
“At Burger King we believe that real food tastes better,” stated Fernando Machado, chief marketing officer for Burger King parent company, Restaurant Brands International. “That’s why we are working hard to remove preservatives, colours and flavours from artificial sources from the food we serve in all countries around the world.”
Burger King may believe that real food tastes better, but the rest of the world is beginning to believe that real food is better. Burger King is following a trend towards both “natural” and socially conscious food.
In September last year, Steve Marks, founder of Mexican fast food chain, Guzman y Gomez, announced that his food would no longer contain added preservatives, artificial flavours, added colours or unacceptable additives. He had spent the last four years, he said, on a mission to make his menu “100 per cent clean”. Also last year, McDonald’s in the UK switched from frozen to fresh beef in its Quarter Pounders and a large number of food brands including majors such as KFC and Popeyes, have signed the Better Chicken Commitment, which dictates higher welfare standards for poultry.
If artificial ingredients can preserve a McDonald’s hamburger and fries for eleven years, they can’t be good for you?