In Burger King’s new anti-bullying ad, the fast-food chain bullied a high school junior and a Whopper Jr. to see which would receive more attention from customers.
Burger King had teenage actors “bully” a high school junior inside one of its restaurants. Meanwhile, Burger King employees “bullied” Whopper Jr’s., and then served the mangled burgers to actual customers.
Burger King placed hidden cameras inside the restaurant to capture how customers would react.
Many customers appeared confused when receiving their “bullied” Whopper Jr. Some had even approached the Burger King employees who were responsible to voice their anger.
“You can’t be serious,” one customer said.
“Just give me my [expletive] burger, man,” said another.
At the same time, customers seemed unwilling to intervene when witnessing the high school junior being bullied.
The ad states that ninety-five percent of customers reported the bullied Whopper Jr., while just twelve percent stood up for the high school junior being bullied.
However, the ad then shows two customers who decided to intervene and help the student.
One woman brought her food
over and sat down to eat with the bullied student.
Another man approached the bullies who told him they
were “just having fun.”
The man replied, “He’s not having fun. So therefore, I think you guys should just leave him alone.”
The ad concludes with text stating: “No Jr. deserves to be bullied,” and then, “Help stop bullying at nobully.org.”
Burger King partnered with No Bully — a nonprofit organization that ignites student compassion to eradicate bullying and cyberbullying.
Dr. Bo Liang, assistant professor of business
administration, labels this ad as a social marketing strategy.
“It’s social responsibility — companies need to do something for society,” Liang said.
In this case, Burger King intends to raise awareness to stop bullying.
Liang said the campaign is for Burger King’s “target market —which is everyone. It’s a social issue.”
Burger King’s corporate responsibility objective is stated on the company website.
It reads: “As a corporation, we define corporate responsibility as looking beyond a strong bottom line to consider the impact of everything we do. It’s about doing the right thing as a corporate citizen in today’s global marketplace while successfully meeting business goals and objectives.”
Liang explained this responsibility objective in terms of marketing.
“This is institutional advertising,” Liang said. “Their goal is to get more sales by raising the brand value or brand image.”
Zach Remaley, junior marketing major, commented on the ad.
“It’s original. It’s funny but it has a serious message,” Remaley said. “It will open people’s eyes up to bullying.”
Remaley saw the video on his Twitter feed. Liang says that this form of marketing has short-term effects.
Liang said, “This is a kind of viral-marketing — short-term popularity. You watch the video but you may forget about it later.”
Understanding the idea of viral-marketing, Remaley predicted the success of the ad.
“I don’t necessarily think [the ad] will help BK sell more Whoppers. It’s more to help kids who are bullied,” said Remaley.
The video is available on Burger King’s YouTube channel.
The ad, which was uploaded in October —National Bullying Prevention Month — tallied 2.9 million views in less than two weeks.
Photos: Burger King