Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Burger King's weird new viral campaign

I’m functioning here as a patsy in Burger King’s latest viral marketing ploy, but I plead professional obligation. The chain is slyly spreading the message that it’ll break a campaign in a little over five days to divulge the results of unprecedented tastes tests between its Whopper and McDonald’s Big Mac.

The twist is that the subjects are supposedly “Whopper virgins”—people from remote nooks and crannies of the globe who had never tried either burger, or maybe a sandwich of any sort, before the tests. They’re the sort of people you’d see in National Geographic, standing next to their trusty yak or llama.

“If you want a real opinion of a burger, ask someone who doesn’t even have a word for burger,” explains a looped teaser running on a special website, whoppervirgins.com. “No kings. No clowns…See what people think when no one has told them what to think.”

I know the campaign will commence in less than a week because a counter on the site is ticking off the seconds, minutes, and days until a documentary based on the tests will make its debut.

The relatively sparse copy stresses that this is all real—that the tastes did indeed require 13 planes, two dog sleds and one helicopter to reach subjects in Greenland, Thailand and Romania.

I couldn’t find a word about it on BK’s website, and I don’t recall any mentions of the campaign during officials most recent conference call with investors. That’s so Old World marketing. This appears to be something new altogether.

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