Burger King's Whopper Virgins campaign -- some video's out now, you can judge for yourself

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A few weeks ago, when Motrin ran a campaign for its pain reliever that riffed on the practice of babywearing -- insinuating that carrying your baby in a sling can lead to back pain -- moms rebelled and Motrin pulled the ad. Is another ad gone bad about to come soon to a TV near you? This one will be courtesy of Burger King, which is teasing a new campaign called "Whopper Virgins" with a short documentary that has people in remote areas of the world taste-testing Whoppers and Big Macs. Given that Burger King sponsored the travels of the crew, who do you think wins?
The legitimacy of the testing isn't what should bother consumers, which the web site says was conducted by independent, third party testers (which I assume is a joke). What might irk people is the concept that Burger King is taking its fat-laden fast-food to people who aren't used to this stuff in their diets, who aren't usual subject to our crass commercialism and who probably don't really care too much. In a remote hill village in Thailand or a farming village in Romania or the tundras of Greenland, do our petty burger wars really matter?

The documentary, directed by former skateboard champion turned documentarian Stacy Peralta (Dogtown and Z-Boys and Riding Giants), will debut on December 6 (or in 5 days, 12 hours, 15 minutes and 30 seconds from this writing, as the countdown clock on the site helpfully displays), and then consumers can decide for themselves. Unless, of course, Burger King thinks better of its effort. Burger King is sending us more information today, so stay tuned for more details.


If the company needs any other examples of bad ads than the Motrin example, then they could just consider history. Taking a foreign diet to people who are not used to it is almost cruel, at the very least it is mocking them through colonialism. And even if you say, hey, this is just a little ad gimmick and really just a joke, then why are we OK using remote cultures as an advertising punchline in this way?

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