Burger King’s 2019 Super Bowl commercial was about as bizarre as the artist who stars in it. The Big Game ad from David Miami isn’t flashy, or funny, or even expected: it’s simply 45, unedited seconds of pop art pioneer Andy Warhol eating a Whopper.
First, in silence, Warhol removes the Whopper from a Burger King bag and unwraps it, then taps a dollop of Heinz ketchup out of a glass bottle, picks up the plain hamburger and takes a bite. The phrase “#EatLikeAndy” and an old-school Burger King logo appear on the screen. That’s it. (The original clip, which runs an astonishing four-and-a-half minutes, is from Danish filmmaker Jørgen Leth’s 1982 documentary “66 Scenes from America”).
"The whole campaign was designed to create conversation," Burger King Global CMO Fernando Machado told Ad Age, adding that while initial reactions to the ad were widely negative, the goal of the #EatLikeAndy campaign was to improve brand perception in the long-term. "In my past five years here we never saw anything even close to that in terms of shifting perception of the brand.”
Still, despite Google searches for Andy Warhol spiking the night of the Super Bowl and Burger King gaining an estimated 4 billion media impressions, audiences weren’t thrilled: the fourth-quarter ad came in dead last in USA Today’s Ad Meter.
But Machado is proud of the fast food chain’s ad nonetheless. "I'm not concerned about any ranking," he said.
BRAND: Burger King
AGENCY: David Miami
SUPER BOWL: LIII
QUARTER AIRED: Q4