Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Vaguely healthy fast food alternatives? Surely you jest!

As you may have noticed, Burger King has really been getting on my nerves in the months I've been doing this blog. It took this next ad a while to show up online in a format even remotely suitable for viewing, but here it is. "Enjoy."

I'm on the record as supporting ad wars when they're done right, but this is just stupid. It's confusing, for one thing; doesn't Burger King lead Wendy's in sales? This is like Pepsi doing an ad that makes fun of RC Cola while giving Coke a free pass. It's not that ads where #2 takes on #1 seem to work very well, but why even go the other direction? And why does Burger King insist on representing one of its menu items as an obnoxious teenager in a hamburger costume?

Whopper Jr.: "Let's go take 'em out, yeah?"
Chicken Crisp: "Yeah."
Whopper Jr.: "We've got business to handle!"

Take 'em out? For serious? And what's with this now-hackneyed "documentary" style? I must have missed the memo where Burger King is now exclusively targeting 16-year-old white suburban kids who find Borat to be the height of comedy.

Whopper Jr.: "Hey, can I - can I get a Whopper Jr., please?"
Wendy's Speaker: "This is - this is not Burger King. That's at Burger King. Sorry."

Oh. Man. Motherfucking owned, Wendy's! PWN3D, even! I can't believe you don't have Burger King products on your menu! Up is down, black is white... what is happening???

This tactic of making fun of other restaurants for not selling their products - which would probably get them sued anyway - is an interesting one on Burger King's part. I would suggest that they didn't go nearly far enough with it, though. Why not have Whopper Jr. go into a pet shop and ask for a Whopper, only to be told that all they sell there are adorable puppies? In your fucking face, pet shop! And imagine the pwnage that will ensue when Chicken Crisp discovers that the local hardware store will sell him nails and screwdrivers, but nothing even resembling the Enormous Omelet Sandwich!

Whopper Jr.: "Can I get some flame-broiled beef, please? Got any of that?"
Wendy's Speaker: "Uh, we don't do that here."

I suppose this is intended as a counterargument to Wendy's "fresh, never frozen" pitch. The question thus becomes - is frozen and flame-broiled beef better-tasting than fresh but grilled beef? I really have no idea, but I will say that I've eaten one Burger King burger in my life and I wouldn't exactly call the flame-broiling noticeable.

Wendy's Speaker: "Do you want a sour cream and chive potato?"
Whopper Jr.: "A baked potat- a baked pota- are we in Russia?"

That joke was much funnier the first time, when I heard it in Caddyshack. Also, that was 1980 and Russia was still a Communist state, so it kind of made sense then. I suppose Russians probably eat a lot of potatoes. The potato is a pretty major vegetable on the world scale, so a lot of people eat potatoes. What's more, a baked potato is a relatively healthy option on a fast-food level; Wendy's sour cream and chive potato has 320 calories and four grams of fat, as well as being fairly rich in vitamin C and potassium. A Whopper Jr. has 370 calories and 21 grams of fat, and that's with no cheese. The Whopper Jr. also weighs a full 150 grams less than a sour cream and chive potato from Wendy's, giving it a fat weight percentage of 14%. The potato? 1.3%. But I guess you're right - this being America, the idea of an even remotely healthy option on a fast food menu is kind of anathema, especially to the type of person who would find this ad funny in the first place.


Quivering P. Landmass said...

Man, Crispin Porter needs to go die somewhere. When will the parade of painful BK commercials end? Lately, it's just one after another -- a dick joke here, some racism there, add some homophobia. I guess that's how you make a winning and hilarious campaign.

Anonymous said...

This one does indeed seem to have ended. I've been trying (desperately but with a lot of revulsion) to find a better image than the one on YouTube, but the stinky ad hasn't been visible down here in TX. I needed it for one of my not terribly famous Wireless Essays on Weekend Radio.