During a gay pride parade in San Francisco, Burger King launched a radical new marketing campaign in an effort to connect with customers on a deeper level. The restaurant put up advertisements for a new menu item called the "Proud Whopper," a burger made as part of the gay pride celebration.
Burger King asked people on the street what they thought of the Proud Whopper, and reactions ranged from excitement to bewliderment. Some were opposed to the idea, while others thought it was a great way for such a large company to show support for the gay community.
The video shows customers hesitantly ordering the new burger after being told by the cashier that she didn't know exactly what it was. Although it may have seemed like incompetence, the cashier's refusal to tell customers more about the Proud Whopper was acutally a way to avoid spoiling the surprise Burger King had planned.
With hidden cameras positioned throughout the store, Burger King recorded the reactions of customers as they unwrapped the burger. The wrapping was printed with colorful rainbow stripes, which have become a symbol of gay pride. As customers bit into the burger, many tried to figure out what made it different from a normal Whopper. One customer guessed that the meat might have been slightly sweeter, but no one could really figure out what Burger King changed for the Proud Whopper.
As it turned out, the answer was simple: Nothing. A message on the inside of the colorful wrapper read "We are all the same inside." The Proud Whopper was exactly the same as a normal whopper, just covered in different packaging. The message was well-received, to say the least, with many customers praising the message and the idea of equality that Burger King was representing.
"A burger has never made me cry before," says one woman in the video.
The video is an obvious attempt to connect to younger customers who are increasingly avoidant of fast food. However, Burger King's motives don't neccesarily diminish the impact the message had on many members of the gay community.
As part of its effort to convey a more socially conscious message, Burger King also changed its slogan from "Have it your way" to "Be your way." While not exactly grammatically sound, the slogan's idea is clear. Burger King's brand manager Fernando Machado says the Proud Whopper will be available until Thursday.