On Wednesday, Burger King released a very creative and controversial ad. It’s short. It’s simple. It breaks the fourth wall. Here it is:
Sorry if that just set off your phone. There are a lot of people saying Burger King messed up. Let’s break down the narrative that’s going around:
- Burger King releases an ad that intentionally sets off the Google Virtual Assistant.
- People’s phones read off the first search result for “What is the Whopper Burger?”
- Wikipedia comes in to provide the answer.
- ASIDE: People come in and edit the Wikipedia entry, changing the answers.
- Google disables the specific audio recording from the ad.
- We all talk about Burger King.
Let’s reverse engineer what’s happening here. The ad is dirt cheap. It is impossible to ignore if you have a device with “Okay, Google” enabled within earshot. People are either impressed, or offended. After that, people tell their friends, family, and co-workers about what just happened to them. People who don’t use Google’s Virtual Assistant only get to hear about it second hand and everybody is searching for the ad. The ad has reached the holy grail of notoriety, which is that people who don’t care about the ad are talking about how much they don’t care about the ad.
Of course, this only serves to make us talk about it more. I’m here on a Thursday night writing out an article on a Burger King ad that took almost no money to shoot and didn’t hurt anybody. Look at how well this ad worked. For just a minute, we all stopped talking about Pepsi, Sean Spicer, or United Airlines. Sounds like a successful ad campaign to me.
Now I’m in the mood for a Whopper. Did I miss anything?