Daily Insights

Burger King’s Moldy Marketing Model

By: Mackenzie Baker | Feb 24, 2020

Burger King’s newest campaign is not for the faint of heart.

As part of the brand’s initiative to remove artificial preservatives from its signature Whopper, Burger King released a timelapse video of a Whopper going from freshly-cooked to coated in mold. “The Moldy Whopper” is a 45-second spot that shows the deterioration of the burger over the course of thirty-four days with the text “the beauty of no artificial preservatives” appearing at the end of the video. In addition to the video rolling out on television and digital media, the brand is treating its audience to still shots of the molded burger across social media. 

The preservative-free sandwich will also no longer include any artificial colors or flavors and will be available in every U.S. location by the end of the year. This is Burger King’s latest push towards healthier menu items, following the brand’s removal of preservatives from most of its European locations. The restaurant industry has been shifting towards healthier and organic ingredients, and Burger King is making it clear it’s a part of this growing wellness trend. 

The nauseating ad campaign is a bold departure from Burger King’s traditional video ads. When the brand released its Impossible Whopper in 2019, a fun ad was released in tandem with a mobile app promotion; which was deemed a sophisticated approach to a successful campaign, according to a Gartner report on the topic. However, while Burger King was working to incentivize new customers to come in and try the Impossible Whopper, its goal with the preservative-free Whopper seems to lean more towards just getting the public talking. 

Burger King’s latest campaign provides an exposed look at a popular fast-food item in the name of healthiness. Other brands may take note of Burger King’s bold statement when it comes to preservative-free advertising in the future.