The Whopper has always been an odd fast food proposition, at least as far as the genre's burgers go. It's Burger King's flagship sandwich, much the way the Big Mac goes with McDonald's, but structurally it's just oddly inconsistent. For example, cheese is optional on a Whopper, which is a bit of a head-scratcher, and it's very vegetable-forward compared to just about any burger on the market. This made the Whopper an ideal candidate for the new Impossible "meat" craze that's been surging recently, and it also gives you the subtle impression that maybe it's just a smidgen healthier or more natural than many of the other options.
Burger King apparently wants to yeet that idea right out of your little brain. Behold.
Set confusingly to an old-timey R&B song called "What a Diff'rence a Day Makes," this 45-second ad actually takes place over 34 days. We start with a dolled-up Whopper that's all camera-ready, and then watch it take on a month's worth of mold until it looks like a delicacy from Stranger Things' Upside Down. At the end, a little message comes in that says "The Beauty of No Artificial Preservatives," and we gotta admit, this is a hell of a way to tell us that little bit of good news.
This is a pretty unique and effective little ad. First off, there's very few things the internet universally appreciates the way they do a good timelapse. Second, this kind of harkens back to a strategy notably used by Domino's when they revamped their menu about 10 years ago -- by admitting that you were doing something wrong as a company, you can demonstrate change and gain new customer trust.
Third, and this is the big one, BK is probably hoping that it'll make you think of those viral stories about McDonald's burgers that have lasted for like 20 years with no appreciable deterioration. And what they're definitely hoping is that you'll have forgotten that this is coming a couple years after McDonald's removed all their artificial preservatives -- the exception being their pickles, but do remember that the whole point of a pickle is that it's being preserved for an extended period of time.
The only way this could have been a better ad is if it were somehow a way for Burger King to be introducing some new type of blue cheese burger, but alas, that's probably not happening anytime soon.