Burger King

December 23, 2008

Burger King is currently rolling out a new ad campaign. Part traditional marketing technique, part unique Burger King twist. This particular ad campaign is using the traditional taste test, utilizing “Whopper Virgins”: people and communities unfamiliar with a hamburger, let alone the global burger brand.

Albeit interesting to see remote locations around the world, and watch remote communities taste test the Whopper against McDonald’s Big Mac, a question that springs to mind is “Just whom is Burger King targeting?” The consumers already familiar with the Burger King brand? Or the communities they are filming in, where fast food diets are still a foreign concept? The entire notion seems culturally exploitative of the subjects in the taste test. I can’t imagine what Burger King is trying to accomplish with this campaign. It seems like one of those ideas that might have looked good on a storyboard but has fallen flat in production. 

Another important aspect of this campaign that is being overlooked is that of product quality, in this case the taste of the burger, is not the overriding factor that most consumers are focused on. Other factors like pricing, location convenience, location cleanliness, employee training and quality, can effect a consumer’s disposition towards one brand over another. A taste test, by definition, takes all these other factors out of the equation.

I do not believe this is an effective campaign. It may add some familiarity to the brand but it will come at the cost of favorability.

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