In a move meant to keep up with millennials' desire for actual food, Burger King has released a new ad campaign that shows a 34-day-old burger covered in mould.
The Whopper, Burger King's signature burger, was showcased in a whole new light today as the fast food giant released an advertisement demonstrating the burger's lifecycle. The ad starts with the Whopper's production, showing a flame-grilled 4oz beef burger, mayonnaise, lettuce, fresh tomato, pickles, ketchup and sliced onion piled onto a sesame seed bun. Then, the sandwich is left in place for 34 days, with the timelapse video showing the build-up of blue, fuzzy mould.
As disgusting as it sounds, this advertisement is part of a campaign from Burger King announcing that all of its burgers sold in America will be free of artificial preservatives by the end of 2020.
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What's the point?
The new advertisement seems to have divided Twitter, with many claiming that the video is completely gross and others commending the brand for its honesty. However, we think there's a little more than meets the eye to this campaign and that it's actually a bit of a dig at McDonald's.
Many believe that food from McDonald's will never decay due to the number of preservatives it contains. This theory has been bolstered by images of a ten-year-old Big Mac and fries that circulated around the internet late last year. The meal, which was the very last thing sold at the final McDonald's outlet in Iceland, has been stored in a variety of locations since 2009, including a museum. The burger and fries have not changed since they were cooked, showing how loaded with preservatives food from McDonald's is.
However, McDonald's announced in 2018 that most (not all) of its burgers are free of fake colours, flavours and preservatives, beating its rival by nearly two years. Its European outlets are already free of artificial elements, complying with EU regulations.
Research has shown that millennials prefer less processed food with fewer artificial ingredients, so it's likely that Burger King's disgusting new ad is an attempt to reclaim a portion of the market share that it has lost to healthier outlets like Sweetgreen and Fresh&Co over the past number of years.