December 9, 2008

Shame On You: The Results Are In

I am sure you have all been on pins and needles awaiting the results of Burger King's Whopper Virgins experiment. Or not.

Well, the wait is over!

And wouldn't you know it -- the majority of those "weird third world villagers who have never heard of a burger" prefer the Whopper to rival McDonald's Big Mac.

Wondering how the burgers stayed hot and palatable in desolate areas of the world, far from any Burger King?

Turns out the "expedition team" shuttled villagers to the closest city and had them bite into their first Whopper -- in front of a video camera no less -- in some sort of warehouse.

Supposedly, said warehouse had both a Burger King and McDonald's nearby, ensuring that both chains' offerings would be in a participant's mouth no more than 15 minutes after being purchased by the expedition team.

All this trouble to find out which corn-fed beef patty topped with high-fructose corn syrup ketchup and a single pathetic wilted leaf of lettuce is the more superior one? I don't get it.

Burger King chronicles their worldwide journey in this 7 minute, 8 second "cinematic piece".

Apart from seeing images of these "researchers" in remote third world areas (including scenes where they cook Burger King hamburgers for a small village in a portable broiler displaying the fast food chain's logo), we get to hear choice quotes like:

"[Some of these people] didn't even know how to pick [a hamburger] up."

Oh, wow! How backwards! And the majority of Americans don't know how to hold chopsticks properly. Your point?

The team is incredulous when a man practically missing all his teeth chooses to tear off a part of his burger rather than bite into it.

So incredulous, actually, that they instruct him to take a bite.

I cringed.

"You can not get an entirely pure taste from a group of Americans because they have been exposed to so much advertising."

Partially true, but this isn't only a problem in the United States. Fast food and soft drink advertising crosses borders and makes it to some very remote areas.

Have these people never heard of blind tastings? Simply blindfold your subjects (right here in the USA!), ask them to take a bite of Burger 1, a bite of Burger 2, and tell you which one tastes best to them.

And for all his "marketing virginity" talk, isn't "rewarding" those who selected the Whopper as their favorite of the two burgers with their very own Burger King cookout a form of advertising?

I am still waiting for the press release informing everyone this is a spoof along the lines of Waiting for Guffman or This Is Spinal Tap.

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