Burger King’s new marketing campaign, “The Whopper Freakout” is, simply put, brilliant.

In this hidden camera style video, we get to see how people react when they are told the Whopper has been permanently discontinued, as well as how customers react when the bags they are given contain not Whoppers, but Big Mac’s or Wendy’s burgers.

I could further critique why this is such a funny, interesting and innovative marketing campaign, but instead I just urge you to watch the video and see for yourself….keep your eyes peeled for the 30-second and 60-second versions on TV.

84 Responses

  1. crosstek

    Hey Eick,

    Good points, but something shatraw mentioned makes me wonder…why does the gross number of hits constitute success? I, for one, googled the phrase because I was annoyed with the commercial and wanted to see if anyone else was. I’d guess others did the same.

    Does this mean that marketing departments only base their results on the counter and not on the feedback? I’d have to go back to the site and check, but I’m betting there’s no comments page at whopperfreakout.com.

  2. shatraw

    crosstek, if you’re actually responding negatively enough to a campaign to find out more about it, it’s still kind of working. look how hooked into this discussion we’ve all become. now, if someone unawares of this ad campaign wanders on here and thinks “gee what’s all the hype about?” then we’ve done their work for them. that’s the trick with internet marketing.

    also, when it comes to ads that people DON’T like, rarely do they follow up with them online. while others might do the same, you’re certainly in the minority there.

    look, the bottom line is this: ads are intended to make us buy something. it used to be you did, or you didn’t. now, there are subgenres of how effective an ad is. but effectiveness in advertising is still only measured in one way: how much product or service it sells. will this sell more whoppers? who knows. but it will make alot of people talk about whoppers and there’s a school of thought that says that will make people at more whoppers. it’s hard to say. welcome to advertising in the internet age. (heck, welcome to the root of the writers’ strike in hollywood.)

  3. Speedster239

    IT is truly genius, this is probably the first marketing campaign that got me to sit up and watch what they had to say. @Whatever a few pages up, I think you need to grow up.

  4. tim

    This commercial is absolute stupidity, plain and simple.

    Yes, I’m one of the fans of Burger King. I can’t generally stand fast food hamburgers unless they’re Burger King (tho’ I could take or leave the Whopper, personally). The meat actually tastes like beef, instead of … well, whatever the hell it is that McDonald’s or Wendy’s tastes like — linty, greasy, rubbery pseudo-chicken? Something like that.

    Anyway, I’m truly SCARED to patronize a company who so nonchalantly fucks with their customers for publicity. Had I been in that Burger King that day, and received a Big Mac instead of what I’d ordered and been called a liar when I brought it back up to the counter, there’d be some spare teeth lying around.

    This is *not* the way to show your customers that you appreciate them. This is how you slap a loyal customer in the face. Looks like it’s going to be a cold day in hell before I order a burger from a fast food joint, again, anywhere.

  5. Lilo

    Wow! We have got some real uptight people here in america. Is this heated debate really going on about a burger commercial that is simply clever? Like BK or not, the commercial is doing its job, I haven’t had one in I don’t know how long but I tell you one thing, it’s got me thinking of BK now. Take it or leave it folks and leave your anger to things like war, poverty, crime-things that really should get your blood boiling. It’s not that serious. Now somebody get me a whopper.

  6. Broly

    this is stupid, i mean why would they seriously discontinue the number one selling burger? ITs home of the whopper. Shit i was pissed when they got rid of their tacos. The whopper would make me enraged.

  7. Pieface

    WHAT?! NO WHOPPER MY GOD! I can’t possibly bare to order a plain old double cheeseburger or chicken sandwich, I’m way to fat and over obsessive on my fatty fast food. [/end sarcasm]

  8. mr whopper

    Great commercial. Lighten up people and stop taking everything so seriously. God good no wonder the country is going to hell, its full of idiots !!!!!!!!!

  9. Rich

    The ads are certainly noticable and memorable, and do a nice job of promoting the Whopper, which is the goal, so I’ll give it a definite thumbs up.

    On the other hand, the subtext of the spots seems to be ‘everything else on our menu sucks’….

  10. Lenny

    Hey Mr. Whopper, try telling that to the people on the commercial. “Get me a Whopper!” “I hate Wendy’s!” If it’s that big a deal, go somewhere else.

  11. jonathan

    just watching the whole skit on the official website makes me want a whopper and i dont even like BK

  12. Noah

    I agree that it is a great marketing campaign, but I started losing interest in Burger King when they brought back the italian chicken sandwich and then promptly took it away because it just “limited time only”…

    I remember getting into arguments with the managers of various bks because I love that sandwich. I honestly could care less for the whopper…

    In closing, I would have been one of the people that would’ve been happy to score a big mac instead of a whopper.

  13. James

    I believe it is the stupidest idea ever to conceive. Are you telling me that our society is infested with such slacked jaw hicks (as we can see in the commercials) that are soooo devoted to the whopper that they couldn’t eat a burger from another fast food joint? Ridiculous. And they’re not the same couch potatoes who watch 100 hours of television a week and not notice the “manager” is a friggin actor I’ve seen in other commercials?? Obviously, Burger King took the ten people who actually freaked out, and not the 5500 people who said, “Fuck it, I’ll go to Carl’s Jr.”

  14. S72

    Thanks for starting the dialogue on this one. I also work in PR and marketing and find all the reactions fascinating!
    Were the staff actors? I said yes from the first few seconds of the clips. Was the tape edited for best effect – of course!
    Let’s remember, this is entertainment! (my personal fav moment is when they offer the customer an autographed photo of the Whopper – hysterical) It’s a commercial, not a scientific study that hoped to prove the Whopper was the best burger on the face of the earth.
    Love it or hate it, we have a saying … any PR is good PR!

  15. SilentMusic

    I sure pity the employees who had to go through all that, as if they already don’t get dumped on enough, and for minimum wage.

  16. Courtney

    Everyone needs to chill out.
    This commercial, was, in my opinion, Genius. You can tell that the customers were in good humor about it after they were told it was a joke.. I mean, honestly, do you really think there are people lying at home with there knees drawn up to their chin rocking back in forth thinking “I…need…whopper…” No. They found out it was a joke and laughed. It was funny! Even if some of the employee’s were actors, they never said the employee’s were real.. they said the customers were. Not alot of people have an amazing acting ability. This commerical made me laugh and actually made me start wanting to go to burger king all the time instead of McDonalds or A&W Cause’ It makes me think they all have a good sense of humor and All in all, it was a brilliant marketing campaign… just the other day one of my friends said He had to go to burger king, (Which is a 30 minute drive from where he lives,) Just because he was craving a whopper for the commercial.
    Brilliant! Good job BK!


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