Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Whopper Virgins

Whenever I see some mega-corporation come out with an amazingly dumb advertising campaign, I can’t help but try to think of the meeting at which that campaign was pitched to them. I just can’t help but imagine all of these stuffy, old, white-haired, pasty guys sitting in a board room somewhere getting all excited about the stroke of genius the folks at the advertising company came up with.

I imagine awkward high-fives, smug smiles, handshakes, back pats and joviality in general. All the while, they have no idea that they just gave the green light to something so horrendously stupid that it defies all logic. Such has to have been the case at the Burger King headquarters when they were pitched the idea of, “The Whopper Virgins!”

In case you’re living under a rock, the Whopper Virgin commercials are a taste test between Burger King’s Whopper and McDonald’s Big Mac as given to people who live in third world countries and have no access to either Burger King or McDonalds. These people are given the name of Whopper Virgins—though, presumably they are Big Mac Virgins too.

You can see how they thought this was a good idea. I mean, I always make my fast food purchasing decisions based on the recommendations of starving people in countries I’ve never heard of before. I’m sure most people do. We drive along, realize that we haven’t eaten in the past hour and half and start thinking to ourselves, wow, I’m famished. If I was a starving person in Nofoodistan who hadn’t eaten a full and decent meal in months, and I had to choose a fast food burger, which one would I choose? Don’t lie. We all have this very thought every time we get hungry and you know it!

In fact, I depend on the preferences of people in Third World countries for help in making many choices. Do I get the 3-ply or the 4-ply extra fluffy toilet paper? Well, I just think to myself, what would someone from Wipemyasswithdryleavesia do? Do I go with the Mountain Mist scented deodorant or the Unscented? Well, I just put myself in the shoes of someone from Dontevenhavesoaphereia and do what they would do. So it only makes sense that when it comes time to choose my artery clogging burger served with special sauce that includes some teenagers popped zit juice, that I consult someone who’s never tasted a burger before.

Oh, the joy those crusty old executives must have felt at the end of the presentation when this idea was pitched to them. The salesperson at the ad agency must have been very best salesperson---EVER. This is the kind of person who sells ocean-front property in Wisconsin and ice-making machines to Eskimos. They got the Burger King execs so riled up that they spent millions of dollars on the ad campaign and the result is this: We know that people who don’t eat burgers, prefer the Whopper. I’m sure this fact has convinced the masses. The great Burger Battle is coming to end and the King will finally knock the Clown down a peg.

Or, you know…maybe, just maybe, no one cares. Not even a little bit. And someone—probably a lot of someones who make a lot of money to make good decisions, actually thought this was brilliant. Ahh, nothing is quite so amazing as the staggering stupidity of some people. We can only hope that in this monkey-see, monkey-do world, that other companies follow the brave lead of Burger King, because I’d pay to see the Charmin Virgins commercial!

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