When you think of fast food advertising, you can probably conjure images of uber-pristine, unnaturally flawless burgers that far exceed whatever slop you end up purchasing after a late night of clubbing.
But in its latest promotional foray, American chain Burger King flipped the recipe on its head – and instead exposed the darker, mouldier side of its products.
The reason why? To promote its new, preservative-free Whopper.
the beauty of real food is that it gets ugly. that’s why we are rolling out a whopper free from artificial preservatives. coming by the end of 2020 to all restaurants in the U.S. pic.twitter.com/yQL6kAYZrY
— Burger King (@BurgerKing) February 19, 2020
Released on Friday (Australian time), the social media advertisement starts out as per the usual formula, before the picture-perfect product becomes wholly infested by mossy green fungus.
The horrifying images were filmed over the course of 35 days, showing the burger slowly but surely collapse into itself as it takes on a radioactive hue.
“The beauty of real food is that it gets ugly. That’s why we are rolling out a whopper free from artificial preservatives.” the advertisement’s tagline reads.
As with all new controversial social media phenomena, this remoulded branding proved to divide the masses.
“[adjusting my Burger King crown] You’ve made a powerful enemy today, pal,” one Twitter user wrote.
this moldy whopper ad for burger king looks like the burger that killed the health inspector from spongebob pic.twitter.com/L6stvHF1wa
— karl (@scorpihobabe) February 19, 2020
“This mouldy whopper ad for burger king looks like the burger that killed the health inspector from SpongeBob [SquarePants],” another said.
The chain, which counts Hungry Jack’s as its local affiliate, says it is banking on consumers’ growing hunger for organic and socially conscious foods.
“At Burger King we believe that real food tastes better,” Fernando Machado, Restaurant Brands International’s chief marketing officer, said in the press release.
“That’s why we are working hard to remove preservatives, colours and flavours from artificial sources from the food we serve in all countries around the world.”
The preservative-free Whopper will roll out throughout several European countries, with further plans to sell them across the entire US by year’s end.
To hazard a guess, it’s probably best not to eat it in its iridescent green state – lest you want to be green around the gills.