A Whopper Of A Campaign

With the “Whopper Virgins “ campaign (December 2008), Burger King has bitten off more than it can chew…It may have generated the buzz the company desired but the campaign offends and entertains rather than do what it is supposed to do – sell its signature burgers…Instead of being ‘tasteful’ (given the fact that the marketing concept is based on the ‘taste test’) it is ‘tasteless’…

Whoppers (Burger King) and Big Macs (McDonald’s) were taken to a rural farming village in Romania, a remote village in Thailand and an outpost in Greenland and locals were asked to taste the fare… The ‘big advertising idea’ was to find “Whopper Virgins” who had never tried a burger before and were unaware of the rivalry between McDonald’s and Burger King…

TV Ad : Youtube

One ad asks, “What happens if you take Transylvanian farmers who have never eaten a burger and ask them to compare Whopper versus Big Mac in the world’s purest taste test?” Will they prefer the Whopper? These are the Whopper Virgins.” The results of the “purest taste test” were ‘undeniable’ given the fact that only Burger King representatives were involved in the ‘test’ and 13 planes, two dog sleds and one helicopter were used…

“If you want a real opinion about a burger, ask someone who doesn’t even have a word for burger”, “Watch the whopper virgins take their first bite”, “Whopper or Big Mac. TheWhopper virgins will decide”, state other ads…

What critics have to say about this campaign:

– Brian Morrissey of (Adfreak.com) likens the campaign to colonialism and declares it “embarrassing and emblematic of how ignorant Americans still seem to the rest of the world.”

– Barbara Lippert (adweek.com) – “Really, what does this prove? If your palate is accustomed to local, non-processed, non-trans-fat-filled food, these Whoppers, tasty and addictive though they may be, would be mass-market weapons of intestinal destruction. It’s kind of cruel. Also, in proper taste testing of pre-made food, there’s so much complicated criteria — from “mouthfeel” to bun flavor — that this is like asking someone who’s never seen a moving image to be an Emmy judge.”

– Alan Siegel (chairman of Siegel + Gale, an Omnicom Group branding firm) – the ads “could be interpreted as the crass part of America talking to the Third World.”

What I think
– the ads are outrageous, insulting and exploitative but have done their job of creating a buzz…Don’t know if Whopper sales have increased though…

What do you think?


4 thoughts on “A Whopper Of A Campaign

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