If you’ve never drawn the connection between a Whopper Jr. and bullying, then Burger King is here to help you see the light. This week, the fast-food franchise released a new experimental ad that will make you crave a Whopper Jr. and remind you that in 2017 silence is complicity.
The set up is this: a high school “junior” pulls up a seat, ready to dive into a juicy burger and fries, when who rolls up? Bullies. The kids pick at his food, talk down to him and play with his fries. It’s obnoxious. Though don’t get too worked up, these kids are just actors. Meanwhile, hidden cameras planted throughout the restaurant capturing onlookers — real people not actors — hesitating to step in and help the kid out. Most of them sit by idly waiting for their food, concerned, but not enough to help him out.
Afterall it’s not affecting them directly. Moments later the customers are shown unwrapping their burgers, ready to eat and forget the kid having a terrible day, only to find it their Whopper Jr. has been punched, “bullied,” to smithereens. So much for “having it your way.” They moan, they groan, they complain to a manager, who pretty much gives them the same treatment they gave the kid.
After witnessing so many people ignore a larger issue, only to bitch about a limp sandwich to no end, I was annoyed. Though, it’s a swift moment of comedic poetic justice. Then, the ad tugged at my heartstrings as it showed footage of a couple of customers who actually helped the kid out. The result: Weepfest 2017.
The video also noted that only 12 percent of the bystanders stepped in and helped the high schooler fight off the harassment. A stat that is almost as tear-inducing as the actual footage. “Help stop bullying at nobully.org,” read the end. No Bully is a nonprofit advocacy organization that aims to eradicate bullying and cyberbullying, according to the website.
“We know that bullying takes on many forms, physical, verbal, relational and online. But the first step to putting an end to bullying is to take a stand against it,” said No Bully’s CEO and founder, Nicholas Carlisle according to Adweek. “Our partnership with Burger King is an example of how brands can bring positive awareness to important issues. You have to start somewhere, and they chose to start within.”
Let’s face it, sometimes when brands dare venture into broader social concerns, results can backfire…big time. While the premise may sound like a massive stretch, somehow...it works. It’s hard not to feel moved by the overall message and the couple bystanders who did the right thing in the end.
Check out the three-minute video below.