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Breaking the mould – Burger King’s latest ad

Breaking the mould – Burger King’s latest ad

The Innovation team at Instinctif harness the best of the future to deliver market-leading ideas in the present. The team’s specialism spans digital strategy and marketing, data & analytics, and strategic brand. This fortnightly update shares top tips to help you foster creative and challenge the status quo and summarises the news that matters.

An acquired taste: Our look at Burger King’s mouldy Whopper ad

Burger King isn’t known for being the shy and retiring type when it comes to its advertising approach. For a brand whose food is widely reported to appeal to all, its marketing has traditionally been proudly divisive; and its latest campaign around its new Whopper recipe is no exception, serving up a brand-new slice of debate, with a side of…mould.

Drawing attention to the chain’s decision to remove all artificial preservatives from its signature burger, the fast food chain gets real about the realities of “proper” food in its latest advert.

Set to a musical backdrop of Dinah Washington’s “What a Difference a Day makes”, the video shows a time-lapse of a fresh burger’s journey over the course of 34 days: wilting, sprouting fur, before eventually turning green and mouldy. The last word comes in the form of the strapline on-screen, which reads, “The beauty of no artificial preservatives”.

As campaigns go, it’s a far cry from the highly stylised “glistening beef and crunchy green lettuce leaves” fare of days past – and the industry and consumer response has been polarised. The social media jury is out, with commentary on Twitter ranging from, “The @BurgerKing WhopperInAMould campaign takes bravery to a different height”, to the altogether more damning, “This is what happens when admen try to impress other admen and forget about the consumer.” A veritable mixed bag of reviews.

From a marketer’s point of view, when it comes to hawking a known and loved product – particularly for a behemoth like Burger King – it is largely immaterial if the conversation around the advert is favourable or otherwise. What matters is that people are talking.

For a brand, clicks are king. And media (social and traditional) is the king-maker. So, regardless of which side of this particular food-based fence you find yourself on, the advert’s success is in its shareability. And that’s evidenced by the campaign’s ubiquitous coverage, with articles popping up everywhere from Ad Age to Vice.

For that reason, it’s a flame-grilled thumbs up from us.

The Innovation team is always interested to hear your views – is this moreish marketing or enough to put you off your lunch?

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