Movie studios and television producers aren’t the only ones leveraging audio as a fast and affordable way to test creative ideas. So are major national brands. Case in point: Burger King’s humorous, irony-soaked “confusing times” radio campaign has expanded into video.
In early March, the quick-serve restaurant chain launched a series of audio spots revolving around the inner thoughts of people during the pandemic. The 90-second spots begin with a plaintive piano backdrop and a somber yet hilarious delivery from voice actor Edward Robinson, who dramatizes people’s inner thoughts about the confusion and ironies of modern day life, without explicitly mentioning the pandemic.
“Alex changed real money into digital money – which is now worth a lot more real money. He’s happy, but confused,” is one how scenario plays out. In another, Robinson asks a series of questions: “Are startups still starting? Is there a word for not-starting start-ups? Is it working from home or living at work? And, are Millennials still a thing?”
The ball of confusion keeps on rolling: A guy bought a book on climate change, “but it’s shipped from England, by plane, wrapped in plastic.”
The radio spots from agency David Madrid run past the one-minute mark before it becomes obvious that the dramatization is actually an ad for Burger King’s Impossible Whopper. “These are confusing times. Which is just about the right time to have the Burger King Impossible Whopper. A Whopper made without beef that tastes just like (sigh)… a Whopper. Confused.”
“The campaign positions the Impossible Whopper as a product that might seem unexpected, coming as it does from Burger King, which is clearly known for hamburgers,” Ad Age writes in a story about the campaign.
The creativity that started with the audio ads was adapated to video by Director Juan Cabral. Once again it’s the work of agency David Madrid with Robinson behind the mic. One of the video spots starts with a shot of a man opening his refrigerator, dressed in now-standard work-from-home attire: dress shirt and tie, headset… and no pants. Later a different man describes another confusing WFH scenario: “He can’t mute, he can’t turn off his camera, he can’t pee while he listens.” There’s also a woman who wants to go to the office, “but she also needs to work in pajamas.”
The video campaign began running in the U.S. this past Monday, says AdAge. The ad will also run in Brazil, Chile, the Dominican Republic, Germany, Mexico, and the UK. In those areas, instead of the Impossible Whopper, it will promote the local plant-based version of the Whopper.