Whopper Virgin Documentary
Usually I post things on here that I like. This is something that makes me want to go on a very, very angry rampage. If I were the sort of person who made moralistic judgments, I would be doing so right now- but instead I will go through it point by point. Watch the video first, or this won’t make any sense.
One- This is a very cleverly designed ad campaign. Notice how they select out the few people who, most likely out of context, seem to be friendly with the advertisers, inviting them back to their villages, etc. I imagine just as many people flat out told them no, or spit the burger right back out, or told them to get the hell out. But they chose not to show you that, of course.
Two- The whole premise- that there are very few people in the world who haven’t tried hamburgers, and that this is a wonderous thing, going around and introducing hamburgers to the “whopper virgins” of the world, is presumptuous and condescending. Thank the stars there are still people in the world who have never eaten a hamburger. The implication by Burger King that they are bringing enlightenment to the world in the form of the whopper is a disgusting example of our culture’s mindset that our way is the only way, and those who haven’t yet been exposed to it should be brought around to see the light.
Three- This is demonstrated in how they focus on the way most of the people filmed are unsure as to how to approach a burger- whether to take it apart or cut it up or what- as if this is quaint and adorable in the way a very small child tries to figure out how to use an unfamiliar object.
Four- The simple fact that they developed a portable Burger King grill to take on the road, and complained about not being able to plug it in at many of their stops- well, another example of condescension. I’m surprised a lot of people even had electric outlets to start with, and the fact that Burger King felt the need to go into their communities, disturbing their way of life, and plug in an “official” Burger King grill- I have no words.
Five- In the same vein, it’s interesting that they chose locations as close to Burger King restaurants as possible- clearly this has nothing to do with the fact that Burger King has so saturated the market that they have very little room for expansion, and are looking for ways to bring their products to the last reaches of the earth, because we have a growth economy and this is the only way to increase profit.
Six- Which is really what it comes down to: how can you increase profits when there are already more burgers in existence than people, in theory, could legitimately eat? The advertising expense for this ad campaign must have been tremendous, and you know Burger King wouldn’t put out that kind of money if they didn’t expect some kind of return.
Seven- Overall, I find the entire campaign distasteful and disrespectful to traditional cultures to an extreme. I cheered when they asked one man if he liked the whopper better than seal meat, and he answered that he preferred seal meat. Good for him. Homogeneity in food is one of the biggest causes of global issues- poverty, environmental destruction, destruction of indigenous ways of life, I’ve covered this on this blog many times over. Not to mention that the reason whoppers all taste the same is that the taste is manufactured in a plant, out of chemical ingredients, and basted over the meat to give it that familiar flavor. Nothing to do with the actual meat, which probably tastes like cardboard. At least that’s how I remember fast food burgers in my memory- but it’s been at least ten years since I quit eating them.
02 April 2009
Whopper Virgin Documentary