Did the Burger King moldy burger stunt actually work?
It appears as an absolute fail, but was it really? Meet me in the comments.
Viewed as one of the biggest advertisement fails ever from a big food chain, the Burger King moldy burger commercial has become a global phenomenon. The point of the commercial was to prove that Burger King uses zero artificial preservatives.
And in a case like this, there's two marketing options (that I can see): Your first option is to come up with a slogan or a rigorous ad campaign that states that Burger King has no artificial preservatives. These prove useful, because once you are told something a million times, you start to believe it. The one downfall is there's no evidence of proof. All you have is a statement, and for all you know, it could be the biggest lie of the century. Then you have option 2, which is scaring people. This is typically the most effective. For an example, anti-smoking ads often show scary or exaggerated images of what smoking does to people. These campaigns work and veer people clear of smoking, and these are typically the most successful anti-smoking campaigns. However, the downfall is that you could end the wrong message. Furthermore, commercials that scare people typically face backlash.
Needless to say, Burger King chose the 2nd option. And in this case, Burger King has succeeded in their effort just as much as they failed. If you are wondering how on earth they succeeded, allow me to explain. This moldy burger that you see above is intimidating. Once you've seen this hideous Burger, you can't unsee it; you are scarred. So then, there's two ways a person can go at this: they either stop the commercial immediately and go talk about it, or they question why Burger King would do this and become curious. There are pros and cons for both ways, and I'll briefly list them here. If you go talk to your friends, then you tell them what you saw. And all you saw was a moldy Burger, nothing more, nothing less. You will then describe that commercial as such. At this point, your friend will either repeat this exact process and talk to more people about it, and let it spread, just like a rumor, OR, your friend will become curious and find the full commercial, and then see the full side of things. The second option is the person will fully watch the commercial, and understand why Burger King would do such a thing. They, therefore, now have created an opinion on the full narrative, not half of it. Now, they will talk to their friends about it, but they will at least get the full narrative.
Was this Successful or an absolute Fail then?
If all of that was too complicated, let me put it in a simple way: People either got it, or didn't. And those who didn't get it most likely will never set foot in a Burger King ever again. And that all plays in if this was a fail or not. It's a matter of how many people actually understood the commercial, and how many people are disgusted just by the look of it.
My personal opinion is that this was a fail. This commercial is gold in raw material: it's true, unfiltered, and unbridled. And while this commercial was nothing but the truth, some people aren't ready at the vulgarity shown in it yet. Simply stated, more people didn't get it and got traumatized instead. And in all honesty, the next time you go to a Burger King, you won't be thinking of a big, juice, warm Whopper. No, you'll be thinking of a moldy whopper. Not only is this unpleasant in thought, its provides a worsened dining experience. You just won't be able to enjoy a Whopper, and any other Burger King meal for that matter, the same, because of the trauma you saw.
Don't take it as I agree with this mentality. I just put myself in the shoes that the traumatized people are in. Actually, I strongly believe the Burger King moldy Burger campaign is a beauty in advertisement, because it's so raw and honest. Personally, I'll be happier going to a Burger King and eating a whopper, knowing that I am not eating a bunch of preservatives.