It’s a familiar scenario. A general, about to dig into his dinner—in this case, a Whopper—turns to one of his minions to taste test the burger to make sure it’s safe to eat. The underling takes a bite, gasps and falls to the ground.
Crisis averted, the elder statesman thinks, as leaves the room, the expired private still on the floor, waiting to be disposed of along with the trash. But as everyone clears out, the “deceased” man picks himself up and proceeds to devour the rest of the burger in peace.
The scenario is actually a spec spot for Burger King. It was helmed by Daniel Kontur, a German-born director of Hungarian and Czech descent based in London and Budapest. He began his career in television, have worked on drama documentary shows like “Murder Maps” and “Myths and Monsters.”
Kontur actually found the script through Specbank.com. Founded by L.A.-based copywriter Dan Sorgen, it’s a site where creatives post unproduced scripts that others can use to try to develop their own reels. Kontur has been trying to break into spots so has been trying to bolster his CV with spec work. “Nobody will hire you unless you already have commercials on your showreel,” he says. “My narrative work didn’t really help me get noticed by agents and production houses.”
“The Taster” script was actually written by Sorgen and Andrew Reizuch, both creatives at Saatchi L.A. and neither of whom Kontur had worked with before. Originally, it was written for Kashi Foods but since the brand is relatively unknown in Europe, he went with another one. “I figured the fast food sector would probably be a good idea and started to analyze which of the biggest fast food brands would go for this type of commercial, and Burger King seemed like the bravest of them all.” (Though now we're wondering what product in Kashi's lineup would inspire such a scenario.)
Kontur and team uploaded the spec to Reddit a few days ago, where it’s already received more than 100K upvotes.
Ad Age asked asked Fernando Machado, Global CMO at Burger King parent RBI his thoughts on the spec spot and he says, “I don’t find it so risky, but I tend to like things which are more raw and real.” The brand’s recent campaigns include the award-winning “Moldy Whopper” as well as a brand new effort that features the shuttered restaurants of BK competitors. Burger King also touched upon the issue of Whoppers and mortality previously, in this French tale set on Death Row. “Still,” Machado adds, it “feels on-brand because of the humor.”