The following two commercials are not the same. The products are similar, but let’s see how the two fast feeders differentiate on brand.
Both commercials lack appetite appeal, which not so long ago was the cost of entry for a fast food commercial. Today, it’s about which lifestyle is more appealing—Wendy’s ennui or Burger King’s emotive cry.
“Feel Your Way” To A Whopper
BK’s advertising is getting lots of press attention, of late. Earned media is a win in and of itself, even when the journalist or armchair critic misses the point.
Novelist and opinion writer, Lauren Oyler, made this argument in The New York Times:
What’s disorienting about this Burger King commercial is that it seems to abandon any hint of aspirational branding: It never once suggests that Burger King will improve these people’s crappy lives in any way.
I hear Oyler, and while we watched the same commercial, we didn’t see it the same way. The heroes of BK’s “Feel Your Way” are people in touch with their emotions. People who feel their rage and find a way to express it. These are small victories and there’s empowerment here, even though the burgers are missing in action.
When the young lady in the BK commercial tells her boss to “go F himself” and then defiantly flings papers on her way out of another abusive workplace, it’s clear to me that BK is on the side of their customer.
Wendy’s ennui, on the other hand, is utterly hopeless. I know it’s meant to be funny, but how funny is it to consider a relationship gone wrong because one partner discovers (via a fast food sandwich) that she should not settle for bland? It’s absurdist humor that misses the mark.
BK’s New Promo Is On Point But Tone Deaf
In related news, BK introduced a new promotion last week.
According to USA TODAY, to qualify for a chance to have your loans covered by Burger King, you have to download the Burger King app, make a purchase and enter your monthly debt repayment amount.
Luke Darby at GQ smartly notes that “It’s naïve to expect a massive corporation that’s driven to up its profits every quarter to actually be investing in ending the U.S. debt crisis, or to address any problem in a way that doesn’t somehow enrich shareholders.”
Maya Kosoff had a different reaction on Twitter. She said we live in hell. Another person on Twitter put it this way:
Yo @BurgerKing I’m vegan and haven’t eaten a burger in 6 years but I’ll stop being vegan forever and go straight to the nearest BK to buy a Whopper if you pay off my $48,000 in student loans. Have it your way, am I right? Let’s link up. $DylanLReeves
— Dylan Reeves (@dylanlreeves) May 25, 2019
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