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Remember The Time An Arnold Schwarzenegger Movie Was Advertised In Space?

John mctiernan's last action hero (1993) was a bomb at the box office, but it was on a rocket in space.

A scene from the 1993 Arnold Schwarzenegger film Last Action Hero

Last Action Hero is unironically one of my favorite films of the 1990s . It was a critical and commercial disappointment, but the thirty years of distance since its release have helped paint it with a sheen of nostalgia. It’s a sharp and interesting extra meta send up of the kinds of action films star Arnold Schwarzenegger helped popularize, featuring healthy satire and fourth-wall breaking. It’s stupid, but it’s fun . And stupid fun is exactly what Columbia Pictures was aiming for when it bought $500,000 worth of advertising space on the side of a NASA Conestoga rocket . The first ad of its kind, developed by Space Marketing , Inc., an organization set up to help fund the costs of NASA missions.

“After reviewing many possible promotional partners for this historic event, Columbia Pictures was chosen for their ingenious creativity that represents the same goals as the American space program,” said Mike Lawson, president of Space Marketing.

The rocket was intended to launch in May ahead of the film’s June release. The launch was the first of three Commercial Experiment Transporter (COMET) missions, designed by NASA to provide greater access to space for American businesses. It was designed to stay in orbit for two years, conducting experiments in growing plants and crystals in a space environment.

Each of the rocket’s four boosters were painted with Schwarzenegger, while the film’s logo occupied the entirety of the main fuselage. A separate 900-number was set up to allow callers to record a message to be sent into space for $3.50 each.

Due to delays the rocket didn’t actually launch until after the movie had already flopped at the box office. The budget for the film’s protracted 9-month shoot schedule was $85 million, with tens of millions spent on the ad budget (including a $20 million tie-in with Burger King, and a $36 million amusement park ride.) For the movie to gross just $137 million globally, it was clearly a let down. Schwarzenegger’s previous film Terminator 2 , by comparison, brought in $521 million.

Last Action Hero was advertised as the movie of the summer in 1993, but due at least in part to it being released in the second week of Jurassic Park’s juggernaut blockbuster status, it never met that expectation. Maybe if the rocket had launched on time, it could have saved the film’s reputation. Or maybe it was just released thirty years too early.

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OK, Google, How Did Burger King Create the Longest 15-Second Ad in History?

​An excited voice called Fernando Machado with a proposition to bend time: “Imagine if we created the longest 15-second TV commercial in history.”

Machado, Burger King’s head of global brand management, was skeptical. How can a 15-second spot be longer than 15 seconds? His skepticism gave way to curiosity, as David—the creative agency calling Machado —had won his trust. If anyone could manipulate time itself, it was David.

David has an “open brief” to break unwritten rules and generate what Machado calls “talkability” for Burger King. The burger chain’s regular ad campaigns keep the registers beeping, but campaigns with talkability are lottery tickets that pay off in virality. Machado went straight to David’s Miami office to hear its plan. 

The presentation was simple: A TV commercial that starts with a crew member from Burger King talking about the Whopper and ends with him saying, “OK, Google. What’s the Whopper sandwich?,” triggering virtual assistants within earshot.

Machado was shocked. “I was like, really? Do you think this would work?”

A David employee pulled out a Google Home. On a video screen, a low-budget version of the ad played: “OK, Google,” an on-screen actor said, uttering the device’s wake words. The Google Home lit up, recognizing the voice as if the actor had been in the room. With the device listening, the actor asked what the Whopper burger is. The device responded by reading the Whopper’s Wikipedia entry: “The Whopper is a hamburger, consisting of a flame-grilled 4 ounce beef patty, sesame seed bun, mayonnaise, lettuce, tomato, pickles, ketchup and sliced onion.”

“I was completely blown away,” Machado says. He quickly realized the idea’s potential to produce talkability, but just as quickly realized that David couldn’t be the only creative agency attempting to subvert this nascent technology. During the 2017 Super Bowl, just weeks before Machado’s meeting at David’s office, a Google ad accidentally awakened consumers’ Google Homes. Others had to have seen that error as an opportunity, Machado thought.  

“We know that this is the type of idea that pops up in different places at the same time, so we rushed to film the ad in the proper quality, prepared a press release and just went for it,” Machado says.

Just before noon on April 12, 2017, Burger King employees gathered in the company’s Miami headquarters, their eyes nervously jutting down toward the screens of their devices. Some were more nervous than others; Machado felt the anxiety in the pit of his stomach and smiled. “When you feel that way, it means you probably hit something,” Machado says. 

The ad was set to air just twice during prime time that evening, but the first salvo of reaction was expected much sooner. The media received a press release about the ad with a noon embargo, and just after noon, Burger King posted the ad to its YouTube channel. The response was swift: Google Home owners were creating their own videos, filming the ad waking up their devices and hurriedly posting the videos across the internet. The campaign generated more than 2 billion impressions in a couple hours.

Then, Machado says, the media “went crazy.”

Headlines flooded the web: “This Burger King Ad Is Trying To Control Your Google Home Device,” the Huffington Post said. “Burger King’s Sneaky New TV Ad Tricks Your Google Home Into Talking About the Whopper,” AdWeek reported.

Within two hours, Google quietly released a patch to block the commercial actor’s voice from waking the Google Home. Machado huddled with the David team. Having reached all the objectives for the campaign, the question was whether to stop, or continue playing and having fun. “Fortunately, we decided to continue playing and having fun,” Machado says.

As the New York Times reported on the beef between Google and Burger King— “Burger King ‘O.K. Google’ Ad Doesn’t Seem O.K. With Google,” per the story’s headline—Machado and the David team went back to the studio to counterattack Google’s patch. They dubbed different voices over the ad—a female voice, a robot voice, a high-pitched voice—and, with hours to spare, sent the updated ads to TV stations.  

Burger King’s rejoinder worked. During prime time, Google Homes across America blurted out information about the Whopper. “Burger King beats Google in showdown over sneaky ad,” the New York Post’s headline said.

But, as usual, the prankster was pranked back: Between April 12 and April 14, there were 104 edits of the Whopper’s Wikipedia entry. Pranksters modified the entry to say the Whopper was a “cancer-causing” burger, that it was a “100% rat meat and toenail clipping hamburger product” and even that the Whopper included “medium-sized child” as an ingredient, causing Google Homes to recite bizarre, disgusting sandwich descriptions to their owners. “Burger King ad lists Whopper ingredients as cyanide, rat meat, toenail clippings,” a headline by AV Club said. 

“It’s just funny,” Machado says, his voice breaking into a high-pitched laugh when reading back the prank edits. “‘The Whopper contains rat meat;’ everyone knows that’s not true. People are a little bit smarter than that.”

Machado, of course, doesn’t want his nationwide burger chain associated with toenails, rat meat or cannibalism, but people were having fun. Brands have trouble getting consumers to pay attention to ads, let alone interact with them; to have consumers react on this level was incredible. This was talkability, exactly what Machado and the David team had set out to achieve. Plus, the Wikipedia entry was quickly protected from vandalism , and the Whopper’s definition was restored. “It’s all good,” Machado says. “I find it hard to believe that people think that we didn’t predict it would go back.”

Two months after the ad shook the news cycle, Business Insider raised Burger King’s arm in victory: “Burger King’s Google Home Whopper stunt wins advertising award.” The campaign won the 2017 Cannes Grand Prix in the Direct Category. Burger King’s goofy identity allowed it to become the prankster, the jokester and likely the lone food chain in America that can survive being labeled as rat meat.

The rewards didn’t stop at awards: Burger King’s day of roistering through the internet netted 10.5 billion impressions and $135 million in earned media. It was the most successful campaign in company history, Machado says, surpassing the McWhopper campaign’s 9.3 billion impressions—Burger King’s second-biggest campaign—and fetching more impressions than any of its infamous “King” ads. 

While Machado won’t reveal sales numbers tied to the Google Home campaign, he says its ROI was “infinite,” as shooting was tacked onto a traditional commercial and cost little to film. Add to the infinite ROI the ad’s more than 15 million views on YouTube and the ineffable number of impressions from GIFs, memes, images, spoofs and Twitter posts.

But the explosive success of this ad was a one-shot deal, says Karsten Weide, vice president of media and entertainment at market intelligence firm IDC. Burger King’s campaign was funny and tongue-in-cheek, Weide says, but it was also the first to enter homes by force via voice-enabled speakers, and not without controversy. “I don’t think it has a future, just because it’s too intrusive,” Weide says.

The ad’s intrusiveness was mostly forgiven due to Burger King’s cheeky humor, but brands that attempt an encore may not be so easily absolved. Customers would likely develop hatred for brands that barge into their homes through their devices, Weide says, which would be especially insidious for advertisers when more people own voice-enabled speakers. While only 3 million voice-enabled speakers shipped in 2017, Strategy Analytics projects sales of 15 million units by 2020​ . 

Aside from innovative forays into controversial terrain, ads are still nonexistent in the voice-enabled speaker market, Weide says—and that’s by design. Rather than ads, Weide suggests that companies create apps for virtual assistants—like Amazon’s Alexa—as consumers would find an app less intrusive than a device that spouts off at every commercial break.  

Machado likely won’t try to expand time via voice-enabled speakers again, but he says he’ll never hesitate to jump into an innovative idea if it has potential for talkability. Machado’s cavalier attitude makes for anxious days at Burger King HQ, he says, but the anxiety would be there if they simply relied on hamburger-and-fry ad campaigns. “So we better just do it,” Machado says. ​

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Hal Conick is a freelance writer for the AMA’s magazines and e-newsletters. He can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter at @HalConick.

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Burger King’s Time Travel Story Shows the Limits of Advertising When It Comes to Taste

Burger King may be called the “home of the Whopper,” but not everyone prefers the chain’s signature burger. A nostalgic campaign created by BBH London acknowledges that no amount of marketing can get some people to change their preferences. The minute-long spot, titled “We Give Up,” opens in the 1960s with a man watching a… Adweek Feed

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The Inside Story of the Burger King Campaign That Changed the Brand's Entire Outlook on Marketing

Global cmo fernando machado shares the long road to whopper detour and its 37:1 roi.

Letters on a Burger King sign are being put up; The sign says, Billions Served; In the bottom a title says The Whopper Detour

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In the past few years, Burger King built a reputation for itself. I believe our brand has mastered the art of using creativity to get people’s attention and build brand love.

McWhopper, Google Home of the Whopper and Burning Stores —among many others—were talked about everywhere, achieved billions of impressions, helped revamp the brand and were celebrated by our industry. Surely many of our blockbuster campaigns drove traffic (bringing people to restaurants) and sales, but the main focus of most of them was to “make the brand cool again.”

That’s why we see Whopper Detour as a defining moment for our brand. There is a clear “before” and an “after” when it comes to Whopper Detour. This campaign marks a turning point in our marketing and shows what we believe the future of great creativity might be—at least for us. A future where creativity is only used for (and celebrated for) responding to real, tangible business and brand goals.

This campaign was an idea that played with technology that is not necessarily new. Geofencing and mobile order and payment have been around for a while. It’s also not easy to convince people to download mobile apps from fast-food brands, especially burger chains. Many brands, including ourselves, couldn’t get people to download their apps even when giving products away. Yet Whopper Detour increased the BK mobile app sales by three times during the nine-day promotion and by two times ever since the promotion ended. This campaign catapulted BK’s app from a modest No. 686 in the app store to No. 1 across all categories, on both iOS and Android. It also drove the highest foot traffic—people coming to the restaurant—in 4.5 years.

So, the question is: How the hell did that happen?

Navigating to Whopper Detour

This is the story of a crazy idea that delivered real business results. Scratch that— insane business results. An idea that bent the rules of direct marketing, experiential and ecommerce/technology. An idea with scale and long-term impact.

This case not only shows the power of a big idea and what it takes to make something different happen but also the reason why our creative partners (aka advertising agencies) are so relevant. Big creative ideas eat programmatic, AI, trends and even a beautifully put together McKinsey presentation for lunch. And these days, people seem to forget that.

The big idea is where our industry should focus. We used the art of creativity to get people’s attention, build brand love and build our business today and tomorrow in scale. This was not a one-location, one-day stunt that gets people to talk about it—especially industry people—but is not linked to results. When we celebrate ideas like this one, we show that our advertising and creativity industries can indeed have a bright future and will be able to continue to have fun and make great business. And that’s the main reason we wrote this case study and are sharing it.

If you don’t have time to read this entire piece (which would be a shame!), at least watch this:

Whopper Detour is one of my favorite Burger King ideas ever.

It took us about a year to make. The idea came to us from FCB New York and evolved a lot over time—a characteristic we see in all of our best campaigns. It involved a large team to pull it off, including our technology team and key tech partners. We basically had to recode our newly updated mobile app with mobile order and payment to now also work well and consistently with geofencing.

In fact, to make this idea work, we had to geofence all our restaurants in the United States (more than 7,000) and all of the McDonald’s restaurants (more than 14,000). Plus, we had to make it reliable. Can you imagine the amount of time and pressure to make this happen? But it paid off. Big time.

We are investing a lot to improve our guest services at Burger King, and technology has a key role in this. After all, mobile has grown to be a vital player in the QSR space, poised to be a $38 billion industry by next year, per QSR Magazine. But mobile ordering and payment aren’t new to people, nor is geofencing.

So to get people to actually care about our BK app is a testament to the beauty of this campaign, which started with a very simple PR headline: “You will be able to order a Whopper for 1 penny at McDonald’s.” Wait, what? That’s kind of a mindfuck. A Whopper at McDonald’s? That’s the exact opposite of what most direct marketing campaigns aim to achieve. You are asking people to go to your competitor before coming to you.

That’s turning brand experience upside down. And that’s showing how technology plus creativity can open new doors for brands and businesses. And while it is admittedly a bit crazy, that tends to be an ingredient in all our best ideas.

The objective of this article is to share part of our journey in making Whopper Detour happen. By doing so, we aim to showcase the power of teamwork and creativity to drive brand and business results.

The extra mile

It was the beginning of September, back in 2017. FCB New York and Waze (their partner) reached out to us to share an idea. The starting point/insight revolved around the fact that Burger King has significantly fewer restaurant locations than McDonald’s. And since in the U.S. most of the revenue comes from the drive-thru, it’s fair to say that quite often BK fans have to drive longer distances to get their flame-grilled Whoppers.

So the idea was to reward these folks who are going “the extra mile” to enjoy Burger King, literally earning a discount for passing McDonald’s on their way.

Two side by side white iPhones. On the left is step 1 for the Whopper Detour; on the right is step 2.

The presentation was pretty complete, with an overview on how to expand on the idea at different touchpoints, ranging from social media to out-of-home. It was presented as an idea that would trigger headlines and conversations, both highly desirable outcomes in all of our successful Burger King campaigns.

Three side-by-side images: The first is of a Facebook post that shows a picture of Waze and the Whopper Detour; second is a billboard that says 'Extra Miles'; last is a screenshot of an article describing what the Whopper Detour is.

At the time, we thought there was something really interesting around the idea. We never played with geolocation before, and a partnership with Waze sounded like a cool thing to do. Also, despite the fact that drive-thru is indeed our most important channel, we haven’t really done any drive-thru ideas in the recent past.

With that said, when comparing the “voltage” of the idea with other ideas in our pipeline, we felt that there were other things that had the potential to drive stronger talkability and PR. So, we decided to provide feedback, which was pretty much: “There is something here that we like. Let’s keep working on it.”

A new spin: “The Secret Whopper”

I think if I were a creative working at an agency, “Let’s keep working on it” would be one of the phrases that would scare me the most. What does that mean? Does the client really like it? Or are they just killing us softly? I would think that “Let’s keep working on it” probably means the end.

Well, not in this case.

One thing we’ve learned in the work we do at Burger King is that many times we hit the right territory but the idea is not quite right yet. In fact, I can think of many territories that took us more than a year to connect to the right idea. And in some cases, even more than that or never at all. We don’t have an issue shooting an idea dead if we don’t think it has legs. So, when we say “Let’s keep working on it,” we mean it. But neither FCB N.Y. nor Waze had worked with us before, and I am sure that there was uncertainty about a potential positive outcome coming out of this.

Believe it or not, FCB N.Y. continued to work on it. The talented team lead by Ari Halper and Gabriel Schmitt kept thinking, playing with and polishing the idea. I guess they believed in it so much that they glanced over the uncertainty and kept pushing. So around mid-November, two to three months after the first presentation, we got an email from Gabriel saying they “changed something on the idea and now it was waaaaaaaay better” (that’s how Gabriel speaks when he believes in something). I had a meeting in New York during that week, so I decided to stop by FCB N.Y. and take a look at that “waaaaaaaay better” version of the idea.

So, the new version of the idea was called “The Secret Whopper.” The insight of the idea was pretty much the same. The first page of the presentation said:

Burger King has significantly fewer stores than McDonald’s, so we’re not always the closest option. How do we turn fewer stores into an opportunity and reward drivers willing to go the extra mile for a better burger? By turning our competitor’s stores into ours.

That was the genesis of “The Secret Whopper: A Special Whopper Available Only at McDonald’s.” Wait. What? Yes, that’s what they proposed. And we loved it.

FCB N.Y. also suggested a simple flow for the idea using our BK mobile app.

There are 5 black iPhones placed next to each other; above each phone is a step to complete the Whopper Detour.

The agency also presented a series of additional assets to help bring the idea to life.

An orange billboard with a Whopper on it. The sign says 'The secret Whopper: only at McDonalds.'

The idea clearly had evolved a lot. And the agency managed to tap into something that was very important for the brand: the mobile app. Remember that originally this was an idea that would happen mostly on the Waze platform.

Taking tech seriously

At Burger King, we are investing a lot in technology to improve guest services, and the mobile app is a key pillar in our strategy.

If you think about fast-food restaurants, most of them have tended to leverage the same technology and layout for decades. The drive-thru, for instance, is kind of the same as it has always been (always a bit of a struggle to get that order taken the right way). For years, the category—especially for burger chains—failed to evolve much with technology. But recently we have seen an acceleration behind initiatives around self-ordering kiosks, mobile apps, etc. The importance of technology among all fast-food players increased in the recent past, and that’s no different at BK.

Back in November 2017, our Burger King app was basically a coupon app. Oh, we also had a store locator (d’oh!). But we had ambitious plans.

We were working to develop mobile order and payment. That was a big deal for Burger King. It is really hard to code everything and make sure the app is integrated with our different point-of-sales systems (believe me; it’s a nightmare). We wanted the app to work with geolocation, which would allow for small variations in price and menu for different restaurants, a really big deal for Burger King. Yes. For Burger King. Because mobile order and payment are obviously not new. Even the guy who sells coffee next to my building in Miami has it. Everyone had it. So, this was a big deal for us and not such a big deal for the industry. That’s why the challenge was to come up with a big creative idea to make people care/share and get earned media at the app’s relaunch.

So, here was FCB N.Y. bringing an amazing idea to relaunch our mobile order and payment capabilities. We had only one piece of feedback: We didn’t think it should be a “Secret Whopper.” Instead, we recommended it be the regular Whopper. Why? Because our regular Whopper is our most iconic product, and to sell that at McDonald’s would be the biggest WTF moment. No need for a special build.

We also thought that the headline “You will be able to order a Whopper for 1 penny at McDonald’s” would be a bigger mindfuck and, thus, potentially get more earned media and talkability than if we were saying “Secret Whopper.” And that’s when the name of the idea changed to “Whopper Detour.”

A year later

I still remember when FCB N.Y. sent us a “Happy birthday, Whopper Detour” via email in September 2018. Yes, it took us a year to develop the idea. As I mentioned earlier, we had to recode our mobile app with order/payment plus geofencing on a massive scale and then ensure it all worked flawlessly in just one year. Most people would have given up, but we didn’t. We kept saying to ourselves: “If it were easy, someone else would have done it already. It’s a good thing this is freaking hard.”

Close to launch, the team developed a really cool film where our actors went to real McDonald’s restaurants in New York and tried explain to McDonald’s crew members at the drive-thru that they were there to get a Whopper for 1 cent.

Two people pull up to a drive-thru; the server's face is blurred, out but he is seen saying 'YOU WANT A WHAT???'

The film was shot by the very talented Jonathan Klein. We fell in love with his treatment. He simply got the tone of the brand and understood all the nuances:

“It’s important to stress that we are not making fun of the McDonald’s employees at all. Our actors asking about their Whopper orders from the BK app are delusional. Delusional people are funny. Delusional people ordering a Whopper at McDonald’s, compounded by the confusion of the McDonald’s employees, are hysterical.”

Our legal team was an intrinsic part of the development of this idea. In fact, that’s always the case. And we found a way to film this without necessarily asking for permission from our main competitor. The film had to be developed in New York for legal reasons; we would need to blur the faces of McDonald’s crew members and alter their voices a bit so they were not recognizable.

On top of using the hidden cameras in the cars, we also filmed wide shots with lenses that allowed us to capture footage from a distance. As in any production that tries to capture reality, it started out messy and then got better and better. That’s normal. And we were patient. In the end, we ended up with an amazing(and very funny film.

On top of the film, which we created for PR and social media purposes, we ran a series of mobile out-of-home units with the objective of providing photo opportunities for bystanders. The UGC pictures quickly spread online.

"The Whopper Detour Avallable Here" frames a McDonald's store. The next image includes 12 similarly framed McDonald's stores.

Another one of our favorite pieces was the print execution “Billions Swerved.” We all found it too funny not to deploy it. We had to make it happen. This is the type of execution that, despite leveraging traditional media, ends up getting a boatload of traction in social.

Burger King ad for Whopper Detour reads "Billions swerved."

On top of FCB N.Y., which helped us with the campaign and UX, we had a pretty complete tech stack to launch Whopper Detour: • Tillster: Worked with our tech team coding the BK app, including mobile order and payment. • Radar: Geofencing used for unlocking, allowing us to tag all McDonald’s in the U.S. • Braze: CRM vendor used to send push, email and in-app messages. • Amplitude: Analytics tool used to calculate redemptions, measure behavior and target messages. • mParticle: CDP used to orchestrate data between the BK app and other CRM partners. • Branch: Linking platform used to make it easier to get to BK App.

Let’s talk results

The world ended up talking about this campaign. We reached 3.5 billion impressions with an equivalent of $40 million in earned media (per Cision and ABMC). All without a significant media investment. We only did some guerrilla marketing (out-of-home), a handful of print ads and a tiny bit of paid digital to push the film.

We didn’t have TV, radio, social media influencers or others. The investment was really minimal because we knew the idea would take off by itself.

Case in point: To kick things off, FCB wrote a single tweet, “BRB going to McDonald’s,” which came out about an hour before the campaign went live. That tweet alone racked up 65,000 likes in a matter of hours and led to an 818% increase in Twitter mentions.

brb going to McDonald’s — Burger King (@BurgerKing) December 4, 2018

We got more than 1.5 million people to download the BK app in the U.S. during the promotion, a 37.5% increase in only nine days, and more than a half million redemptions of our promo, which was more than 40 times the amount of redemptions versus our previous historical record for a digital coupon promo. And it continues to be the gift that keeps on giving. In the months that followed the promotion, we are now up by 4.5 million downloads. (All of the following figures are sourced from internal BK data.)

This direct, ecommerce, PR, integrated campaign propelled our BK app to become the No. 1 app in the Apple Store and Google Play Store, starting from No. 686 in the Apple Store and No. 464 on Google Play per App Annie, and beating out the likes of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube. The BK app remained No. 1 in the Food and Drink category for more than 10 days on both platforms.

This idea was indeed a game-changer for Burger King. Despite the fact that the Whopper sandwiches were going for only 1 penny, the total sales value sold through the mobile app increased by three times during the promotion. And even after the promotion, we continued to sell through our mobile app two times what we used to sell before the promotion. Whopper Detour users alone will spend around $15 million more per year on the BK mobile app. Whopper Detour put our mobile app on the map, made people engage with it, and now they continue to use it.

Some skeptical people tend to challenge some of these sales results, arguing that we were selling Whopper sandwiches for a penny. But I am not talking about units sold. I am talking about total sales value. Even though we sold some Whopper sandwiches for 1 cent, the engagement was so high that people ended up buying a lot more. That’s why the business results were so strong.

The reality is that we tried giving away products to people who used our mobile app before. So have Wendy’s, McDonald’s, Chick-fil-A and others. That’s the obvious thing to do when you want people to download your app.

But have you ever heard about any of those promotions? No, right? And do you know why? Because no one cares.

To make people care, you need a big idea. An idea that plays with people’s imagination, an idea that is fun and connects people to the brand. Nothing was as powerful as Whopper Detour. And that is the true value of a creative idea.

he images show three different news websites describing what the Whopper Challenge is.

Think about that. We asked people to download the BK app, add their credit card info, enable geolocation, drive to a McDonald’s, order from there and drive back to a Burger King to pick up the order. And they did it. It’s the opposite of what any direct marketing campaign has ever done. It’s experiential upside down. It’s a promo that, in theory, has all the ingredients not to work. But it did.

Perhaps most importantly, this activation drove people to our restaurants. By inviting people to drive to our main competitor to get a crazy discount, we triggered the highest weekly traffic increase (traffic meaning number of people coming to our restaurants) since mid-2015.

Can you believe that? We asked people to go to McDonald’s, and we triggered the highest increase in visits to BK in the past 4.5 years. And there was no cannibalization of the Whopper in the restaurant, which shows that the people who came were actually new or lapsed customers. And they ended up buying more than just the Whopper for 1 penny.

The ROI for the campaign was 37:1. We had people seeing Burger King as a modern, savvy, interesting and fun brand.

Here are five things we learned on the journey:

Let the idea grow

Whopper Detour was not born as Whopper Detour. Not even the name. The idea was different, but the DNA of Whopper Detour was there somewhere. The ability to spot that and nurture the idea was critical for this case. Actually, in most successful cases we’ve developed, that seems to happen. “When a lion is born, it’s very easy to kill it.” Kash Sree used to always say that to me. You need to trust uncertainty and invest in the idea to make it better and better. It takes time. It takes effort. And it takes guts.

Big ideas matter

AI, AR, programmatic, machine learning, etc. are all empty buzzwords if you don’t have a big idea. A big idea will eat big budgets, celebrity endorsements and sometimes even logic for breakfast. Without big ideas, our industry is boring. Actually, without big ideas, life is kind of boring. So, learn how to spot them and invest to make them happen. Don’t compromise.

The power of fun

This is an idea that had all the ingredients not to work. We asked a lot from the user—credit card, location, space in their phones, a drive—and we gave a Whopper in return (not even free, since they paid 1 cent). But people loved it. And 1.5 million people went for it. Why the hell did that happen? Well, because it was fun. It was fun to do it. It was fun to share it. It was fun to talk about it. Never underestimate the power of fun. It can bend logic.

If it were easy, someone else would have done it

Yes, we had to geofence more than 20,000 restaurants (all BKs plus McDonald’s in the U.S.). Yes, the app had to work flawlessly, or as close to that as possible. It was a technical nightmare to make everything happen, but we never thought about giving up. It took a year to make this happen. No shortcuts. If it were easy, someone else would have done it already. So a big thank-you to FCB N.Y., who believed in us as a client. Big thank you to our tech team, who worked incredibly hard to make this happen. And a big thank you to all of our other agency partners—especially the tech ones—who helped us make this huge.

Remember the long-term benefits of an idea

We now have the location and credit card info of most of our app users. We can do a much better job in terms of CRM. We can do things such as send push notifications when a BK app user is getting close to a McDonald’s because we did all the heavy lifting as part of Whopper Detour. In fact, our assumption is that the 1.5 million downloads of Whopper Detour alone will trigger around $15 million in revenue during the first 12 months of the project.

So, despite the fact that the promo lasted for just nine days, the long-term impact of the project is truly significant.

Fernando Machado

Fernando Machado is the global CMO at Burger King.

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Burger King’s Time Travel Ad Shows the Limits of Marketing

Burger King’s Time Travel Ad Shows the Limits of Marketing

Burger King may be called the “home of the Whopper,” but not everyone prefers the chain’s signature burger. A nostalgic campaign created by BBH London acknowledges that no amount of marketing can get some people to change their preferences.

The minute-long spot, titled “We Give Up,” opens in the 1960s with a man watching a Whopper commercial. He moves through the decades, changing styles with the times as he encounters a bevy of Whopper-focused marketing: flyers plastered all over walls, a blimp, a woman using Whopper-shaped headphones to listen to a cassette player, bus station ads and billboards.

But the bombardment of marketing through the years fails to change the man’s tastes. In the present, he stops at a Burger King and almost orders a Whopper—before settling on a Chicken Royale instead, to the chagrin of the cashier.

“At Burger King, we’ve heroed our iconic Whopper for decades,” Burger King UK brand and communications director Soco Núñez de Cela said in a statement. “This year, we wanted to flip the status quo and celebrate a fan favorite, the Chicken Royale instead. This simple but self-aware idea reminisces on Whopper through the years, while reminding guests that while we may be the gome of the Whopper, we are also home to the most loved chicken burger in the U.K., the Chicken Royale.”

The spot launched Monday in television and cinemas, kicking off a 10-month campaign that will also incorporate out-of-home, social media and print activity.

Burger King U.K. named June 7 its first-ever Chicken Royale Day, offering the sandwich for £1 with a coupon available through its app. The deal also applies to the Vegan Royale. The promotion replaces the chain’s Whopper Day promotion, which offered a coupon for a free Whopper through the app May 18, 2022.

“The King’s crown jewel has been replaced,” BBH deputy executive creative director and partner Felipe Serradourada Guimaraes said in a statement. “Sorry, Whopper.”

Edith Wharton

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This Is What It Sounds Like When Brands Cry

By Lauren Oyler

  • May 22, 2019

There’s a ubiquitous joke on Twitter that goes like this: “Sir, this is an Arby’s.” That sentence is the punch line, deployed after a setup in which an earnest speaker expounds on anything from elaborate pop-culture theories to sports to politics — only for it to be revealed that, all along, he was ranting at an innocent fast-food cashier. My favorite iterations are self-deprecating gibes at the speaker’s own spiraling neuroses and bugbears. (“Ugh, this paper has another logistic regression with way too many variables for such a small data set. You’d think by now people would know, but NO!” “Sir, this is an Arby’s.”) If the joke has a point, it’s that the pressures of modern life — or at least Twitter — lead us to blurt out decontextualized tirades to anyone in the vicinity; that we’ve lost our ability, or willingness, to read the room. Because the room here is a fast-food restaurant — a space that, like Twitter, helps produce the alienation that generates its business — there’s a recursive quality to the meme. Both are equally appropriate sites for a nervous breakdown.

It makes sense, then, that Twitter alerted me to a video that nearly gave me a nervous breakdown. It begins with a man sitting dejectedly on a twin bed, his voice cracking as he confesses: “Not everyone wakes up happy. Sometimes you feel sad, scared — crappy.” A misfit teenage girl arrives at school, finds the word “SKANK” scrawled on her locker and tearfully looks forward to the day she can leave her “closed-minded town.” Stomping down the stairs, a woman in business casual roars that her boss is “such a freakin’ creep!” and throws papers everywhere before storming out of frame. A 20-something collapses onto the couch and, shellshocked from his student loans, realizes, “I’m never moving out of my parents’ home.” A woman pushes a baby stroller down a hollowed-out suburban street and tells us: “They say I’m too young to raise my baby girl. Take your opinions and suck it, world.”

Sir, this was a Burger King commercial. Part of a partnership with the nonprofit Mental Health America — as well as an unsubtle dig at the McDonald’s Happy Meal — the nearly two-minute “short film” promotes a limited-time, select-city product called “Real Meals,” which correspond to a customer’s “real” mood: Blue, Salty, Pissed, DGAF and YAAAS. In place of information about where to seek help if you’re experiencing feelings of depression, which would usually appear at the end of a public-service announcement, title cards explain: “No one is happy all the time. And that’s O.K.,” followed by an image of each of the Real Meals, jarring pops of color after the gloomy video. (No matter which mood you announce to the cashier taking your order, or to the touch screen that has replaced her, each box contains the same thing: a Whopper, fries and a drink.)

Setting aside the unique ludicrousness of calling something a “Pissed Meal,” ads for fast food have always been somewhat absurd. We know from experience that most people aren’t having that much fun with their friends at a McDonald’s, but we understand why the commercials sell the fiction that they are. By contrast, the scenes depicted in the #FeelYourWay campaign seem to acknowledge the real reason people eat fast food — not always as a celebratory treat or quick bite on the road but sometimes as an immediate consolation for daily miseries and humiliations. It’s comfort food dispensed in an uncomfortable space. Thoroughly branded, increasingly automated and unflatteringly lit, fast-food chains are staffed and patronized by people who, more often than not, would rather be somewhere else. They’re a heavy-handed expression of the cruelty of the American economy, and their pervasiveness a testament to its efficacy.

The popularity of the “Arby’s” joke demonstrates the total failure of branding to obscure those negative associations. No one expects much from these places. What’s disorienting about this Burger King commercial is that it seems to abandon any hint of aspirational branding: It never once suggests that Burger King will improve these people’s crappy lives in any way. Instead, it implies that Burger King is a brand that will make sense within the context of their crappy lives — and, by extension, ours.

Insulting both the customer and the product might seem like a bad strategy for selling stuff. But it’s consonant with a broader shift in advertising, fueled by social media, whereby brands have felt compelled to veer dramatically off-script and imitate the most attention-seeking people online: Netflix recently ranted on Twitter about the sexist connotations of the term “chick flicks”; inspired by a negative comparison, Vita Coco threatened to send one hater a jar of urine ; Steak-umm has cultivated a bizarre, meme-fluent Twitter presence that breaks the fourth wall to discuss the difficulty of social media marketing and refers to the company’s core product as “frozen beef sheets.” All this antiadvertising has succeeded in doing is making our world feel yet more corporatized. Even our friends’ cheerful recommendations for miracle skin-care products or life-changing apps can sound as if there’s something in it for them. Everywhere is an Arby’s, sir.

“Life sucks — you might as well eat Burger King” is a reasonable attitude for an individual to espouse in this situation. We’re beholden to forces beyond our control, and refusing to deny that we live under conditions that enrage and depress us is a mode of minor protest. The commercial does get that right: Having to perform happiness all the time is exhausting, particularly when the systems that make you miserable depend on the myth that everything is all right. So when the news release for “Real Meals” says the campaign “celebrates being yourself and feeling however you want to feel,” it performs a convenient elision: No one wants to be irritated, depressed, angry, fed up or hopelessly broke. Coming from a corporation, the message is especially disturbing. Burger King is not a person; life sucks at least in part because of Burger King.

Though the ’90s are having a cultural revival, there’s still something a bit retro about criticizing advertising; it’s the kind of thing that might earn you a “Sir, this is an Arby’s” online. After all, our brands are doing their best to read the room, and the mood is grim. (Earlier this year, the account for the citrus drink SunnyD tweeted, “I can’t do this anymore” — interpreted by many as a faux-cryptic suicide threat.) The generation they now have to relate to is defined by its anxiety, debt and apocalyptic fears. An ad like this makes a very specific gamble: that their customers are too downtrodden to care about the evils of fast food. They might be right.

Lauren Oyler is the author of “Fake Accounts,” a novel about dating and social media to be published in 2021.

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Rivalry is at the core of the fast-food industry; hence, an effective marketing strategy is crucial to a fast food brand ’ s success. One restaurant chain that impresses audiences year after year with its television commercials is Burger King - their Burger King commercials are truly something.

Founded in Jacksonville, Florida, Burger King has provided the world with mouth-watering meals since the mid-1950s. And in 1958, the company aired its first television commercial on Miami ’ s VHF – ever since, Burger King has consistently used the advertising medium to tempt consumers.

Here, we take a look at the best Burger King commercials from over the years and touch on how music – including tracks from our catalogue – has played a part in bringing the ad to life. We will also be sure to highlight playlists that may be appropriate for any projects you ’ re currently working on.

Best Burger King Commercials Ever

New burger king commercial.

Burger King ’ s latest commercial promotes the fast food company ’ s new burger, the hand-breaded Ch ’ King.

Said to be tasty enough to rival their classic Whopper burger, the Ch ’ King was organically causing a storm on social media thanks to its reportedly ‘ delicious ’ taste. Shrewdly, Burger King used this feedback to their advantage and incorporated real-life reactions into an ad that creates more hype around the latest addition to their menu.

Music: To inject more drama into the ad and emphasise the ‘ life changing ’ experience of indulging in a Ch ’ King burger, Burger King opts for a stirring, cinematic track led by electrifying strings.

To discover similar tracks, feel free to head on over to our drama production music playlist .

Burger King Commercials 2021

During the COVID-19 pandemic of 2020-2021, advertisers struggled to strike a balance between being entertaining and sensitive when addressing the morbid state of the world – ergo, many brands chose to completely ignore our adjusted way of life.

In 2021, Burger King bravely embraced new norms with a commercial aptly dubbed ‘ Confusing Times ’ . At the very end of the ad, the narrator suggests that it ’ s during confusing times that we should dare to try something new, like their meat-free Impossible Whopper. We, for one, appreciated the light-hearted take on the current climate.

Music: The music that plays throughout the ad reflects the current mood of millions worldwide – it ’ s sombre, dour and emotive, much like the songs in our sad and sombre playlist . Having said that, the music has a blissful, high-pitched moment when the Impossible Whopper is introduced.

Burger King Commercials 2020

By now, the Whopper is universally recognised, appreciated and consumed; it has been around since the 50s after all!

So, all Burger King really has to do to advertise their most famous offering is ask a random passers-by to remind viewers at home why we all love the menu staple; this is precisely what they did just last year.

Music: Towards the end of the ad, Burger King reveals their burger-making process to ignite hunger inside of the viewers.

To accompany these food-focused visuals, Burger King incorporates a funky pop song to encourage an association between the fast-food offering and good times.

burger king commercials

Burger King Commercials 2019

In 2019, Burger King directly targeted their biggest competitor, McDonald ’ s. On the 23rd December, the fast-food chain announced in a television commercial that behind every Whopper burger featured on their print ad, social post and billboard advertisement of 2020 was a hidden McDonald ’ s Big Mac burger. Yes, really!

Why did they do this? To prove that the rumours are true: the Whopper is much larger than the Big Mac.

Music: The entire Burger King commercial is cheeky – it ’ s supposed to be viewed as a friendly dig at McDonald ’ s rather than the birth of a new feud. Thus, the music chosen for this ad has a playful, comical vibe. Discover similar tracks over in our funny/comedy playlist .

Burger King Commercials 2018

Year after year, Burger King tricks people with their utterly convincing April Fools pranks to remind audiences that they ’ re a company with personality.

In 2018, Burger King released the ‘ Chocolate Whopper ’ commercial, an ad that persuades audiences to prepare for a dessert burger created with sickly sweet ingredients – viz. chocolate, sugar-coated sweets, strawberry sauce and cake sponge. Interestingly, most viewers were disappointed to discover the menu item wasn ’ t real.

Music: The Chocolate Whopper is advertised as a sexy, sinful addition to the menu – we guess it makes sense considering the fictitious burger would be a naughty treat packed with calories. To play on the seductive tenor of the commercial, Burger King opts for a sultry track akin to the compositions available in our sexy playlist.

Burger King Commercials 2017

Another holiday the fast-food chain enjoys celebrating is Halloween, and in 2017 they released the creepy #ScaryClownNight commercial just six days before All Hallow ’ s Eve and one month after the remake of IT hit cinema screens.

The purpose of the commercial was to advertise a special deal – if a customer came dressed as a clown to a selected Burger King restaurant on the 31st October, they were entitled to a free Whopper sandwich.

Music: The ad is manifestly inspired by the horror genre, and so is its soundtrack. The eerie song creates suspense, engaging audience members who are desperate to know what will happen next. Repetitive drums are met with brooding strings, spooky piano and Stranger Things -esque electronic sounds to encourage viewers to remain on the edge of their seats.

Looking for something similar for your next project? Have a listen to our horror playlist .

Burger King Commercials 2016

Sometimes, the best way to advertise a new product – or, in this case, a menu item – is to call in a world-renowned celebrity. In 2016, Burger King enlisted the help of California rapper Snoop Dogg to create noise around their Grilled Dogs.

By informing an audience that the rapper is a fan of the menu item, and the restaurant chain in general, fans of the rapper and the hip hop genre were sure to be inclined to pick Burger King over other fast-food restaurants.

Music: Snoop Dogg ’ s association with the hip hop genre inspires the music choice of Burger King ’ s Grilled Dogs-focused commercial. The chosen track has a chilled yet funky rhythm that marries well with the rapper ’ s nonchalant demeanour.

Check out other hip hop background music tracks over in our hip hop playlist .

Burger King Super Bowl Commercial

The Super Bowl is more than just a sporting event: it ’ s an excuse for brands to get theatrical. And every year, big-money brands battle it out to air the best Super Bowl commercial.

In 2006, Burger King released their grandest, most OTT Super Bowl commercial to date during the break of the Super Bowl XL. Inspired by the Radio City Rockettes, the Super Bowl commercial is titled 'The Whopperettes' and features multiple dancers dressed as different ingredients of the iconic Whopper burger.

The ad is funny and entertaining, and it's an absolute pleasure to watch; thus, we feel it deserves a place on our list.

Music: The song that features in Burger King ’ s Super Bowl XL commercial is an original track inspired by the showbiz world of the Rockettes.

Andy Warhol Burger King Commercial

Burger King may be renowned for their fast-paced, in-your-face style of advertising, but in 2019 Burger King created a pared-back masterpiece for the Super Bowl LIII starring the late Andy Warhol. Yes, before you ask, that is the real Warhol.

Quite simply, Burger King revived old footage of the American artist eating a Whopper burger, taken from Jørgen Leth ’ s documentary film ‘ 66 Scenes From America ’ . Once the simple scene plays out, the ad ends with the hashtag #EATLIKEANDY and the Burger King logo.

Music: The Andy Warhol Burger King commercial eschews music in a bid to stand out from the rest of the Super Bowl ads, most of which are super loud. Additionally, the lack of music places greater focus on the visuals and the ASMR-esque diegetic sound of the movie clip.

Burger King Commercial Small Hands

During the mid-00s, Burger King produced a series of ads focused on a character with super small hands.

In this particular episode, the man with the tiny hands is worried that Burger King ’ s new Double Cheeseburger featuring 30% more meat will make his hands look even smaller than usual.

Silly, we know – but we did laugh out loud when we first watched it. Needless to say, the goal of this ad is to place focus on the size of the menu item.

Music: The music used in Burger King ’ s small hands ad kicks in at the very end when the new and improved burger is introduced to viewers at home. The short piano clip is sunny and uplifting – it conveys a message that the burger is guaranteed to brighten up your day. Browse and sample other tracks like this one over in our warm/uplifting playlist.

Napoleon Dynamite Burger King Commercial

Whether you ’ ve watched it or not, everyone ’ s heard of Y2K-era indie/comedy film Napoleon Dynamite, led by Jon Heder who plays the titular role and Efren Ramirez who plays Dynamite ’ s best friend, Pedro.

Twelve years after the film was first released, Burger King united the wholesome duo to help them advertise the return of their Cheesy Tots side.

Music: The Napoleon Dynamite Burger King commercial avoids using a background to track to ensure viewers focus on the conversation between the two actors. Although we don ’ t like to admit it, we can see why music may distract an audience in this instance.

Burger King Cow Fart Commercial / Burger King Methane Commercial

Climate change: bar Trump, we ’ ve all accepted it ’ s a huge deal. Even Burger King. For this reason, the restaurant has committed to reducing methane levels by reducing the gas released by their cows.

To celebrate the Reduced Methane Whopper, the fast-food chain released a spectacular commercial created by Academy Award-winning French director Michel Gondry. No, this isn ’ t an April Fools...

Music: The original country yodel song – sung by the Walmart yodeling kid (AKA Mason Ramsey) – tells the story of how Burger King has managed to reduce the amount of gas their cows release into the air. It ’ s fun; it ’ s catchy; it ’ s oddly inspiring.

If you ’ re keen to incorporate a country song into your next project, visit our country playlist page.

Burger King Commercials We’ve Soundtracked

Burger king consignes of sécurité commercial.

To ensure customers knew they could safely visit Burger King France restaurants during the pandemic, the fast-food chain released a high-spirited commercial that takes cues from aviation safety procedures.

Opening with a logo that reads ‘ Burger Klean ’ , the commercial stars a Burger King employee who runs through the safety measures that are in place in every Burger King France restaurant in the manner of an air hostess.

Music: To fit in with the aviation theme of the commercial, Burger King opts for a music track that ’ s redolent of compositions used in aeroplane introduction videos on long-haul flights. Essentially, it ’ s lift music with a little more energy.

Burger King Miss You Commercial

Burger King France ’ s ‘ Miss You’ commercial welcomed customers back into stores as the COVID-19 pandemic began to die down in June 2021.

The advert informs French customers that the Burger King workers have missed everything about its customers, even the annoying things they do (e.g. present the cashier with a ton of change, cause chaos in the car park and steal napkins).

Music: The track used in this Burger King commercial is jolly and blithe – it reminds the viewer to laugh at the relatable actions of the comedic customers. Check out similar tracks over in our happy/sprightly/jolly playlist.

Bad King Junior Commercial

In 2020, Burger King Belgium released a new kind of kids meal for naughty children – one that came without a toy in melancholic grey packaging. Named the Bad King Junior, the meal aims to help parents discipline their children.

The series of Bad King Junior adverts created by Buzzman TV for Burger King focused on rebellious, chaotic kids who deserve to receive the Bad King Junior meal deal as punishment for their behaviour.

Music: In the second episode of the ad series, thriller -inspired music is used to create tension and tease the chaos caused by the naughty child.

This music contrasts against the chilled , commercial music used when the narrator runs through the difference between the Bad King Junior Meal and the King Junior meal.

Music for Your Commercial

As you can see from the above, each track featured in a Burger King commercial has been carefully selected to capture and keep an audience ’ s attention.

In our ever-expanding catalogue of production music tracks, we’ve got thousands of music for advertising tracks to help you entice viewers to digest the message of your commercial.

No matter what your advert is centred on, we’ve got a playlist for you. Looking to advertise a luxury holiday package? Head on over to our travel playlist. Trying to get the word out about a new cocktail lounge? Browse and sample tracks from our cocktail playlist. Promoting the return of a popular reality show? Check out our reality/factual entertainment playlist.

Need Music for Your Project?

At Audio Network we create original music, of the highest quality, for  broadcasters ,  brands ,  creators ,  agencies  and music fans everywhere. Through clear and simple  licensing , we can offer you a huge variety of the  best quality music  across every conceivable mood and genre. Find out how we can connect you with the perfect collaborator today by clicking the button below!

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Burger King TV Commercials

We don't make the ads - We measure them

Sign up to track 537 nationally aired TV ad campaigns for Burger King , a Super Bowl advertiser. In the past 30 days, Burger King has had 17,313 airings and earned a hot airing rank of #13 with a spend ranking of #27 as compared to all other advertisers. Competition for Burger King includes McDonald's , Subway , Sonic Drive-In , Jack in the Box , Dunkin' and the other brands in the Restaurants: Quick Serve industry. You can connect with Burger King on Facebook , Twitter and YouTube or by phone at 20222.

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What’s up with the ‘BK have it your way’ Burger King commercial-turned-meme?

Sports fans and TikTok users alike probably read the following sentence in a very specific tune: “BK have it your way.”

What does it mean? It’s the newest jingle to accompany Burger King commercials and, boy, it has become one of the most annoying sounds.

When it comes to advertisements, Super Bowl season is the time to shine. As companies raise the stakes to craft the most viral TV advert, Burger King has the Internet in its grip. The fast food chain’s “BK have it your way” commercials are so maddening to sports fans that they’ve become a meme.

What ‘s the origin of the Burger King commercials with repetitive lyrics?  

It all started with a series of Burger King ads that launched last year during mid-NFL game advert breaks. The most popular commercial included a strange little song to promote the Royal Crispy Chicken sandwich.

The lyrics included: “Chicken, chicken, chicken, chicken / Italian, spicy, bacon, chicken / Take one bite and it all starts clickin’ / Crown up my day.”

What is the meme that came out of the Burger King commercial?

The purpose of the meme is essentially to make fun of the absurdity of the commercials themselves.

User @ eric_riley8 couldn’t help but laugh at the ad playing just after his dad began to sulk over a football game.

Other TikTokers like @ otterboy320 have just resorted to speeding up the song to make it all the more maddening.

“Bro causally dropped the hardest chicken chicken chicken edit and thought we wouldn’t notice,” one person commented on another TikToker’s remix.

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The post What’s up with the ‘BK have it your way’ Burger King commercial-turned-meme? appeared first on In The Know .

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Burger King uses mouldy Whopper to promote its signature product

The burger chain says the adverts showing a rotting Whopper highlight that it is removing artificial preservatives from the food.

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News reporter @news_snuggsy

Thursday 20 February 2020 06:38, UK

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Burger King release advert showing their Whopper decaying over 34 days, showcasing the lack of preservatives in the product

Burger King is using a mouldy Whopper in its new advertising campaign for its signature burger.

The television ads - running in Europe and the US - begin with someone making a fresh burger to the sound of Dinah Washington's song What Difference A Day Makes, and then uses a time-lapse showing it rotting over 34 days.

The fast food chain says the campaign is highlighting its decision to remove artificial preservatives from the product.

In a tweet , Burger King said: "The beauty of real food is that it gets ugly."

Burger King has said: 'The beauty of real food is that it gets ugly.' Pic: BurgerKing/Twitter

The Whopper is topped with onions, lettuce, tomato, mayonnaise and pickles, all of which will contain no artificial preservatives.

The firm, based in Miami, Florida, said it has removed them from the Whopper in several European countries - including France, Sweden and Spain - and around 400 of its 7,346 US restaurants.

It plans to get rid of preservatives from the burger served in all of its restaurants this year.

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By the end of 2020, it said all food items - including sandwiches, sides and desserts - will be free from artificial colours, flavours and preservatives in the US and select European countries, including Germany and the UK.

The adverts have received a mixed response on social media.

One Twitter user said: "I was going to get BK today for lunch, I am earnestly not now because this made it look disgusting. I just saw a whopper commercial on TV, now this undid that. Free advice- delete this tweet."

But another disagreed, saying: "What an amazing way to showcase your new product! Really smart and fearless. Things do rot naturally."

McDonald's announced in 2018 that it was removing artificial colours, flavours and preservatives from seven of its burgers.

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Burger King Wants You to See How Moldy This Whopper Can Get Thanks to the March of Time

A fter years of selling hungry customers Whoppers filled with artificial preservatives, Burger King is changing direction. They are now making the decision to roll out a burger that is free from artificial preservatives, colors, and flavors—and the fast food chain has the moldy burger to prove it.

Through the wonders of time-lapse photography, Burger King ’s new ad campaign shows the chain’s new preservative free Whopper in all its moldering glory. The ad starts with the traditional Whopper topped with lettuce, tomato, pickles, onions, and its special sauce with a chyron declaring that it’s Day One. The camera keeps rolling and through the inexorable march of time, the burger sits, the lettuce wilts, the tomato droops, and mold grows on the burger. The white fluff both proves that Burger King has opted to remove preservatives from its beef, while also serving as a dire warning to potential customers not to leave a burger unattended for too long lest it sprout a new topping.

Come Day 34, the burger, its bun and toppings are all coated in a natural, if wildly unappetizing, green fuzz. The chain touts this moldy development as a sign that their burger is “real food” that is beautiful because “it gets ugly,” according to the YouTube caption , whether customers will bite is still to be seen. It does make a good counterpoint to those possibly apocryphal tales of fast food burgers that survive for weeks unscathed by the passage of time, making it through the apocalypse for the cockroaches to feast on. Whether customers will bite is still to be seen, though. In a tweet , Burger King says the Whopper free of preservatives, colors, or flavors from artificial sources will be available at all restaurants by the end of 2020.

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Burger King's Latest Ad Features a Moldy Whopper Decomposing Over 34 Days

The unusual campaign is being used to announce the removal of artificial preservatives from the iconic sandwich

Moldy food isn’t usually something a restaurant would brag about, but Burger King is using the tactic to celebrate a change to the menu: Their Whopper is now free of artificial preservatives.

Burger King is officially rolling out the updated sandwich—which the company says is made without preservatives, colors, or flavors from artificial sources—and is now available in more than 400 locations nationwide and across Europe. The burger will be available in all U.S.-based restaurants by the end of the year.

In the commercial spot, Burger King literally lets its iconic burger rot on camera. The ad shows the burger slowly decomposing as the days pass since the sandwich was prepared—and by day 34, it’s nearly covered in fuzzy, green mold. “The beauty of no artificial preservatives,” flashes across the screen.

The brand also says they’ve removed MSG and high-fructose corn syrup from all food items in many European countries and across the U.S.

WATCH: Here Are 8 Meal Options From Your Fave Chain Restaurants That Are 500 Calories or Less!

These changes come at a time when some fast food chains have faced increased scrutiny of their products.

In early January, a Utah man claimed that a McDonald’s burger he bought in 1999 appeared to still remain in perfect shape. In response, a representative for the burger chain explained , “In the right environment, our burgers, like most other foods, could decompose. But, in order to decompose, you need certain conditions — specifically moisture…Without sufficient moisture – either in the food itself or the environment – bacteria and mold may not grow and therefore, decomposition is unlikely.”

A live stream of the last remaining McDonald’s burger and fries purchased in Iceland before the company closed its locations there went viral recently as well. The menu items have been untouched for ten years and have yet to decompose.

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Burger King is giving out free Whoppers for the solar eclipse

A free Whopper is within your grasp.

Burger King is giving out free Whoppers for the total solar eclipse

One burger chain is celebrating a celestial phenomenon with a tasty freebie.

On April 8, solar eclipse fever will spread from Texas to Maine, and in celebration of this cosmic rare event, Burger King will satiate hungry crowds with an exclusive deal. 

“Burger King, the home of the flame-grilled Whopper® sandwich, is celebrating the historic moment eclipsing Americans — and much of the world — with a delicious offer that lasts longer than four minutes and 28 seconds,” a Burger King rep tells TODAY.com.  

All day on April 8, Royal Perks members can text the keyword “ECLIPSE” to 251251 to claim a buy-one-get-one Whopper offer that can be redeemed during or after the eclipse via the BK app and website . Once claimed, the Whopper BOGO deal is available from April 8 to 15 at participating Burger King locations in the U.S.

According to NASA, the path of totality, or the area where a total solar eclipse can be viewed, is much wider and much more populated than that of the 2017 solar eclipse, meaning that more Americans will be able to see the eclipse this time around.

The eclipse will cause some school closings , eclipse-viewing parties and eclipse-chasing , as 99% of people in the U.S. will be able to witness a partial or total eclipse from where they live.

burger king time travel ad

Washington, D.C. native Joseph Lamour is a lover of food: its past, its present and the science behind it. With food, you can bring opposites together to form a truly marvelous combination, and he strives to take that sentiment to heart in all that he does.

burger king time travel ad

Burger King offering free Whoppers on Eclipse Day! Here's where, how to get one

It's a bird! It's a plane! It's a ... Burger King Whopper ?

The fast-food giant is offering members of its Royal Perks loyalty program a buy-one-get-one-free Whopper from April 8-15 in celebration of the solar eclipse Monday, April 8 . Customers must text the word ECLIPSE to 251251 to receive the special celestial deal. The offer is redeemable through the BK app and website .

The Royal Perks program can be joined in the app or online. Only one Eclipse BOGO offer will be available per account.

Start the day smarter. Get all the news you need in your inbox each morning.

The upcoming 2024 total solar eclipse  will cross over Mexico, the United States and Canada. Cincinnati lies just outside the path of totality and will see a partial eclipse for 2 hours and 32 minutes. Approximately 99.8% of the sun will be obscured by the moon at the peak.

Are you looking to score a free Whopper on Eclipse Day ? We have Greater Cincinnati locations listed below. If you don't live in the area, you can look for a Burger King near you on the fast food chain's  site . 

When is Burger King offering free Whoppers?

BK is offering Royal Perks members a buy-one-get-one-free Whopper from April 8-15 in celebration of the solar eclipse Monday, April 8 .

How to get a free Burger King Whopper for Eclipse Day

Royal Perks members must text the word ECLIPSE to 251251 to receive the special celestial deal. The offer is redeemable through the BK app and website .

Burger King locations around Greater Cincinnati

  • 316 Philadelphia St., Covington.
  • 14 Carothers Road, Newport.
  • 3432 Madison Pike, Fort Mitchell.
  • 5015 Glenway Ave., West Price Hill.
  • 337 Terry Lane, Crescent Springs.
  • 5120 Delhi Pike, Delhi Township.
  • 3049 Dixie Highway, Edgewood.
  • 6452 Glenway Ave., Green Township.
  • 1555 West Galbraith Road, North College Hill.
  • 8549 Winton Road, Springfield Township.
  • 4868 Houston Road, Florence.
  • 9427 Colerain Ave., Colerain Township.
  • 2549 North Bend Road, Hebron.
  • 7914 Alexandria Pike, Alexandria.
  • 512 Ohio Pike, Whitewater Township.
  • 10425 Reading Road, Evendale.
  • 8455 U.S. Highway 42, Florence.
  • 10170 Colerain Ave., Colerain Township.
  • 812 Eastgate South Drive, Eastgate.
  • 1816 Patrick Drive, Burlington.
  • 1340 East Kemper Road, Springdale.
  • 12080 Lebanon Road, Sharonville.
  • 525 Kolb Drive, Fairfield.
  • 7321 Dixie Highway, Fairfield.
  • 9065 Union Cemetery Road, Symmes Township.
  • 1188 Ohio Pike, Amelia.
  • 160 KY-338, Walton.

This article originally appeared on Cincinnati Enquirer: Burger King offering free Whoppers on Eclipse Day! Here's where, how to get one

Burger King has a special buy-one-get-one-free Whopper offer for Royal Perks members on April 8.

burger king time travel ad

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Burger King is giving away free Whoppers for the solar eclipse

Burger King is giving away free Whoppers for the solar eclipse.

(Gray News) - Burger King is celebrating the upcoming solar eclipse with free food.

On April 8, Burger King is giving out free Whoppers in honor of the rare celestial event.

The deal is exclusive to Royal Perks members who text “eclipse” to 251251. Members can then redeem a buy-one-get-one offer through the app. Once claimed, the Whopper deal is available from April 8 through April 15.

A solar eclipse happens when the sun, moon and earth line up. As the moon passes between the sun and earth, it casts a shadow on our planet that fully blocks the sun’s light in certain areas.

On April 8, 15 states will be in the path of totality while the rest of the continental United States will get a partial eclipse.

The peak spectacle will last up to 4 minutes, 28 seconds in the path of total darkness.

According to the Associated Press, North America will not experience totality again until 2033, but only in Alaska. In 2044, totality will be confined to Western Canada, Montana and North Dakota. There will not be another U.S. eclipse spanning coast to coast until 2045.

The last total solar eclipse visible in the U.S. happened in 2017.

Copyright 2024 Gray Media Group, Inc. CNN Newsource contributed to this story. All rights reserved.

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Quick budget meal before circus time - Burger King

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“Quick budget meal before circus time” Review of Burger King

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More or less what you would expect from BK, except the washrooms were not shipshape. Helpful staff, though.

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2 - 6 of 31 reviews

Good location and they serve beer. Had a costumed burger out front handing out coupons for great deals on K food before the circus.

It's a generic Burger King, what more do you expect! 175rb for a Whopper which at current gbp rates (75rb to the £) is just over £2

If you're looking for a quick bit to eat and it's the same the world over, how wrong can you go. A bit tight on their sauces though. Reasonably cheap and cheerful.

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