Welcome back Rate the Adsters! Let's start off 2009 with a look back at our last--and possibly most contentious--discussion last year
: Whopper Virgins. Burger King and Crispin trekked out to all corners of the world to see which fast food sandwich, the Whopper or Big Mac, was preferred by those who'd never before sampled a burger. In the mini-doc, the burger virgins voted in favor of the Whopper, while, in Rate the Adland, Crispin got a good number of disgusted thumbs downs. Many found the campaign exploitative of the Hmong, Romanians and Inuits featured in the video and thought it irresponsible to expose heretofore untainted cultures to the health disaster that is American fast food. Though, the nays didn't completely have it. A few commenters spoke up to call the pseudo ethnography intriguing and original.
Echoing the majority of commenters, "swaaaan" said, "This ad was embarrassing to watch an as American. It is totally exploitative and mocking of other cultures. It seems to portray them as ignorant because they are unaware of the 'right' way to eat a hamburger. It's degrading."
Representing the small, but impassioned minority defending the campaign, "dporridge" said, "I saw it for the first time last night and was certainly intrigued. I did not find it offensive and thought it was a really interesting way to present their product. It also has a certain charm to it--watching wonderful people from faraway lands and cultures partake in something that we North Americans love. Of course, there is a part of me that wants to protect these un-corrupted cultures from being exposed to the evils of trans fat-laden junk food, a vice that has clearly been a negative influence on our own civilization. Assuming Burger King will not be sending plane loads of free burgers to nurture a junk food addiction to the 'burger-free' cultures (or worse, set up a shop there), I think these commercials are fun to watch and certainly make their point."