Burger King is showcasing a nasty looking Whopper to promote the idea that it is dropping preservatives from its food.
The campaign, aptly called “The Moldy Whopper,” shows what happens if a Whopper is left out on a table for more than a month. Spoiler alert: It spoils. It underscores the chain’s decision to eliminate artificial preservatives from its food.
“The idea is the beauty of real food is that it gets ugly,” says Fernando Machado, Restaurant Brands International’s global chief marketing officer.
The Home of the Whopper wants to be seen as more appealing to those seeking foods with cleaner ingredient labels. Yes—even people who scarf down a 660-calorie Whopper want to feel better about the food they eat. Eliminating artificial colors, flavors and preservatives is something Burger King has been working on for years.
Burger King, like other chains, typically showcases nearly flawless images of its food in marketing, even if the versions customers receive don’t arrive with perfectly prepared and placed ingredients. This glowing portrayal is how the Whopper in this campaign looks, at first. Then, the lack of preservatives sets in. The Whopper goes from gleaming to something no one should touch, let alone eat.
“We took a very different approach than usually what food brands do” to make the point that real food goes bad, says Machado.
One part of the campaign is a 45-second video set to the tune, “What a Difference a Day Makes,” sung by Aretha Franklin.