Wednesday, December 19, 2007
Not believin' the Whopper Freakout
It's kind of obvious why Crispin, Porter + Bogusky shot the Whopper Freakout in some place with palm trees. Because if the agency shot it in a place that was a little bit harsher on the soul—like, say, New York—the people who were denied their Whoppers would have pulled out a weapon and maimed the "store manager" who tells the assembled multitudes that Burger King has discontinued its most popular offering. (If you're not familiar, you can watch a little bit of Whopper Freakout here. Basically, it's a "mockumentary" in which a local Burger King tells all of its patrons that the Whopper is kaput. Something, but to my mind not hilarity, ensues.) Over at Fallon Planning, they're calling it "genius" but to me, despite all of the claims that this was all shot using real people, who really thought the Whopper was gone, doesn't pass the scent of flame-grilled beef test. First, to quote David Ogilvy, "The consumer is not a moron. She's your wife." The inherent sexism of that quote aside, D.O. had a point: that people are not that gullible, particularly these days. Are there that many people who would really believe this? It's akin to, well, McDonald's KOing the Big Mac. Yeah, right. Second, if people really were that gullible, how come they take it relatively passively? They only really seem to get, um, inflamed, when, in the latter part of the video—which involves store workers actually stuffing burgers from Wendy's and McDonald's surreptitiously into customers' bags—store staff basically accuses the customers of putting the errant burgers in their bags. My last complaint is that, at almost 8 minutes, it's too long. Just because you can stream almost anything of any length these days, doesn't mean you should. OK, you can now accuse me of getting up on the wrong side of the burger this morning.