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The changing Face of Advertising: Burger King and the Moldy Burger

The saying, ‘fact is stranger than fiction’, seems to ring very true when looking at the events of 2020. It is certain that 2020 has been a bizarre year with a Pandemic, Christmas more or less cancelled, large high street chains closing their doors for good. Indeed, this is the year where there is no Christmas Knees up in the pub, non-essential shops are shut and one where even advertising campaigns have been rather off the wall.

An advert that sums up the peculiar year of 2020 is Burger King’s, Mouldy Whopper. The 45-second clip begins with a usual whopper complete with all the usual accoutrements – meat patty, lettuce, tomatoes, onions, pickles, ketchup, mayonnaise contained within a sesame bun. However, the advert doesn’t pan out in the usual way, there is not some spiel about how big the meat patty is or how delicious taste is, instead, Dinah Washington’s “What a Difference a Day Makes” begins to play, and the burger begins to experience the passage of time. If you have ever wondered what your burger might look like if you kept it for a month then, you need wonder no more, because before your very eyes you can watch an aging Burger King Whopper. The lettuce starts to wilt, the bun shrivels, and as the time-lapse progresses, a blanket of white mold begins to cover the burger.

By day 34, the burger is but a shadow of its former self and it is a decomposed masterpiece. It is certain that this piece of advertising is very different to anything else that Burger King have produced. The purpose of this study of decay is not to put you off visiting their outlet, but to show you that the product is natural and being preservative free will mean that it rots.

There have over the years been many campaigns for healthier options and those promoting better quality ingredients, but now it seems the emphasis on advertising is not fresh and healthy, but natural and preservative free.

Needless to say that the advert garnered mixed reactions, but Ingo Stockholm, David Miami and Publicis are taking home big wins in PR, Print and Film for the Moldy Whopper . Indeed it has become one of the most debated pieces of creative pieces of PR this year and so in this truly unusual year we may look back at our food trends and mark this down as the year that a rotting burger was hailed a creative masterpiece.

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