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Queering The Burger

Now, even your hamburger is gay [1]

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In what is either a stroke of advertising genius or a lame bit of exploitation — you be the judge — Burger King sold a rainbow-wrappered “Proud Whopper” on Sunday along the Pride parade route in San Francisco, then produced a fairly amusing video that the company posted to YouTube Wednesday morning.

Customers who encountered the burger at first produced the expected responses:

“Is it a gay burger?”

“It’s about time.”

“Do gay people even eat fast food?”

change_me

A Burger King clerk then throws out the expected gay double entendre: “Do you want to go with or without meat? Because you can go both ways.”

“Meat is my preference,” the customer replies.

Then the big surprise: Inside the wrapper are the words, “We are all the same inside.” Yes, the “Proud Whopper” was the same junky burger as the original.

The girls weeping over the big gay burger at 1:30 in the video is especially … something.

32 Comments (Open | Close)

32 Comments To "Queering The Burger"

#1 Comment By The Next to Last Samurai On July 2, 2014 @ 7:23 pm

I sense a backlash coming, and I fear it’ll be rough on gays who find their marriages suddenly illegal again.

#2 Comment By EddieInCA On July 2, 2014 @ 7:25 pm

Not surprisingly, I think it’s awesome.

#3 Comment By Reinhold On July 2, 2014 @ 7:32 pm

No doubt the rapid acceptance of gay marriage rights by big companies and profitable markets had much to do with its rapid cultural acceptance. Of course they were not so hot on gay anti-discrimination laws in the 1990s, but gay marriage doesn’t threaten them.

#4 Comment By James C. On July 2, 2014 @ 7:34 pm

On one hand, more Proud Burgers sold at Pride will increase the amount of flesh on display (as if more were needed)—on the other hand, the kind of flesh exhibited may not be desirable.

Munch away, folks. And try to keep your eyes dry and your chins up.

#5 Comment By Mason C. On July 2, 2014 @ 7:36 pm

Can we admit that, even if we consider LGBT rights to be a positive development, that this commercial is crass?

#6 Comment By Erin Manning On July 2, 2014 @ 8:12 pm

When I saw this, I couldn’t even muster any outrage; I can’t think of a fast-food chain that is less relevant to my life than Burger King, with its high-fat, high-calorie offerings that don’t even taste good. Seriously, the last time I remember eating at a Burger King my kids were still in carseats (and we were probably traveling).

Still, the chain missed a big opportunity. What they *should* have done was sold the normal Whopper alongside the Proud Burgers which would contain, when unwrapped, either two hamburger patties and no bun, or two buns and no patty. Any customer who complained could be re-educated to understand that words change their meanings all the time, and if “marriage” can mean a man and a woman, or two men, or two women then certainly “hamburger” can mean a hamburger patty on a bun, or two bunless patties, or two patty-less buns. In fact, the company’s spokespeople could have gently explained, it’s pretty bigoted to demand a “normal” hamburger and expect to get one.

I’m sure that all those who received the two meat/no bun “hamburger” and the two bun/no meat “hamburger” would then have pondered this great new truth that reality can be altered just by changing the meanings of common words, and would have left the restaurant completely happy with the enlightening experience. And if you believe that, I think Charles Cosimano could arrange to sell you a bridge or two. And even preside over your wedding ceremony when you take the bridge as your spouse in lawful wedlock.

#7 Comment By anori On July 2, 2014 @ 8:30 pm

One stupid commercial is much like many other stupid commercials. Cigarettes for women? You’ve come a long way, baby, cough cough.

#8 Comment By Niall On July 2, 2014 @ 8:47 pm

Exhibit 12,376 of “You may not be interested in the culture war, but the culture war sure is interested in you”.

#9 Comment By Tyro On July 2, 2014 @ 8:50 pm

Honestly, this is both a clever marketing idea, and the video has good pacing and creative dialog. The question is not only could conservatives manage such good craftmanship and messaging, but even whether than messaging would be desireable to the public (“oh, I get it… in this burger, all the impurities have been removed, and all the ingredients remain in their place!”)

#10 Comment By Leo H On July 2, 2014 @ 8:54 pm

“We are all the same inside” ? Unfortunately most Americans take that drivel to be wisdom no matter who pushes it. Like appropriating the peace symbol to sell blue jeans or Volkswagens to yesterday’s “flower children”, I guess BK figures rainbows can make loyal consumers out of these ditzes. It’s still the same lousy mass-produced hamburger product inside. So much for our illusion of diversity.

#11 Comment By John B On July 2, 2014 @ 9:25 pm

Would have been more amusing if they opened wrapper and found a bratwurst.

#12 Comment By Tyro On July 2, 2014 @ 9:26 pm

“We are all the same inside” ? Unfortunately most Americans take that drivel to be wisdom no matter who pushes it.

You know, it was a harsh realization that I didn’t come to until my 20s that all those things they taught us in school like:

o It’s what is on the inside that counts, not the outside
o The most important thing is lifelong learning, not the pursuit of money
o Even though we might look different on the outside, we’re the same on the inside

Were things that people didn’t actually believe. I was a well-educated person on fire intellectually, but people didn’t understand why I didn’t jump right into making lots of money right away. I was scruffy (though I clean up well), so people thought I was making some defiant statement or was some kind of bad person.

After leaving the college town I spent lots of my life in, it pains me to realize that I’m proving my moral worth to people by showing them that I have money and and extremely well dressed, but it’s because in our anti-intellectual, anti-scholastic society, we denigrate the lessons taught to us by our grammar school teachers. (and what would they know, anyway? if they were so smart, they’d be rich) And besides, you can’t hate on gays if you believe all that stuff.

#13 Comment By M_Young On July 2, 2014 @ 9:28 pm

I suggest a tuna patty, topped with alpha sprouts…
or a hot dog.

#14 Comment By Jack Shifflett On July 2, 2014 @ 9:30 pm

Capitalists qua capitalists have absolutely no shame, no soul, and no values aside from the almighty dollar. Capitalism is amoral, period. What else is new?

#15 Comment By charles cosimano On July 2, 2014 @ 9:33 pm

Sorry, out of bridges, but we do have some very nice swamp land outside of the Vatican.

#16 Comment By Charles P On July 2, 2014 @ 9:46 pm

Honestly, I can’t see what could possibly be the problem with this. A company has deemed it well and proper to market its product in this way in a local franchise. Nothing much to say, really. (BTW, I really didn’t much mind the Chick-fil-A debacle, so no hypocrisy here)

As a gay person, I have to say, I liked the ad. Why don’t you?

#17 Comment By Tyro On July 2, 2014 @ 9:49 pm

Capitalists qua capitalists have absolutely no shame, no soul, and no values aside from the almighty dollar. Capitalism is amoral, period. What else is new?

It was all fun and games when they were decreeing proper dress and grooming in the workplace and pulling people’s health insurance out from under them, but capitalism turns out to be a big bummer for conservatives when it starts marketing to gays.

#18 Comment By Fran Macadam On July 2, 2014 @ 9:56 pm

Fat Food America moves from BLT to GBLT.

#19 Comment By David Naas On July 2, 2014 @ 10:09 pm

Perhaps they should have called it a Crabby Patty, eh SpongeBob?

#20 Comment By Josh McGee On July 2, 2014 @ 10:13 pm

Idiocracy, indeed:

[2]

#21 Comment By Avery On July 2, 2014 @ 10:14 pm

Lust, pride, and gluttony — finally, three deadly sins in one mass-produced greasy wrapper!

#22 Comment By Fran Macadam On July 2, 2014 @ 10:20 pm

Affinity marketing? Both fast food hamburger consumption and anal sex exposes one to potentially infectious fecal contamination.

#23 Comment By Josh McGee On July 2, 2014 @ 10:53 pm

Why didn’t Christians think of this first!? The Jesus Burger would have brought a tear to the most hard-hearted Secularist in SF: tasty, wrapped in swaddling paper, and made possible by the King himself.

#24 Comment By Jeffersonian On July 2, 2014 @ 11:05 pm

What they *should* have done was sold the normal Whopper alongside the Proud Burgers which would contain, when unwrapped, either two hamburger patties and no bun, or two buns and no patty.

They already do the no bun thing. Just order a “double Whopper, low-carb, add cheese” [these are the things you learn when you’re a celiac].

#25 Comment By dominic1955 On July 2, 2014 @ 11:31 pm

Avery and Fran Macadam,

+2 You said what I was going to say.

Anyone ever watch Louis CK? Not that I recommend him generally, but he had a funny schtick on cinnabon. I’m not going to post a link, but if you know what I’m talking about, you know where I’m going with this.

Burger King Pride Whopper and Cinnabon-whatta pair!

#26 Comment By Edward Hamilton On July 2, 2014 @ 11:46 pm

It’s a perfect syzygy of crunchy con concerns: self-aggrandizing corporations, processed nutritionally worthless food, and sexual libertinism.

I haven’t eaten at Burger King in roughly the last decade, but now, by jove, they should consider themselves on my super-triple-blacklist for all eternity. I’m sure that they’re even now breaking the sad news to their stockholders.

#27 Comment By rr On July 3, 2014 @ 12:04 am

Erin Manning’s idea is golden, but wouldn’t this burger be more appropriate at Dairy Queen?

#28 Comment By Fran Macadam On July 3, 2014 @ 1:13 am

“It was all fun and games when they were decreeing proper dress and
grooming in the workplace and pulling people’s health insurance out
from under them, but capitalism turns out to be a big bummer for
conservatives when it starts marketing to gays.”
I’ve never been under any illusions about the ethics of the apostles of mammon, who seek to commoditize human beings without any concern but their own maximized profits. Wars are started so that they can take what belongs to someone else. Before or after they decided to monetize homosexual “marriage,” they are motivated by nothing other than their institutionalized greed; they will do anything for money, and only for money, even abandon you in a moment when you don’t represent a revenue stream. Like Dave Sim’s eponymous graphic novel protagonist Cerebus, the oligarch “doesn’t love you, he just wants all your money.” And AIDS treatment represents big profits, too, not motivated by compassion for those suffering – the idea is to make money, with the idea that private greed will morph into public virtue, like lead transmuted into gold.

#29 Comment By John On July 3, 2014 @ 9:53 am

That was a cute ad that put a mile on my face.

#30 Comment By Bea Bolt On July 3, 2014 @ 2:49 pm

Erin Manning and Fran sure are a hoot! It’d be even funnier if the burger had two patties (genius, Erin!), was full of fecal matter (just like gay sex, good one Fran!!!), AND was HIV positive! Now that’d be hysterical!

#31 Comment By Reader John On July 3, 2014 @ 5:08 pm

Erin Manning: If Burger King said “hamburger” can mean two bunless patties, or two patty-less buns, would that be telling a Whopper?

#32 Comment By Siarlys Jenkins On July 3, 2014 @ 10:35 pm

Like Erin, I haven’t eaten at Burger King in decades, although I did at one time prefer it to McDonald’s. I’ve always favored the underdog, but I like Tom’s Drive In even better. I gave up on Burger King because they refused to stop cooking their fries in partially hydrogenated oils. Genuine health hazard.

But this whole campaign may be off. A plausible argument could be made that gay people are the same as the rest of us on the OUTSIDE, but they are different on the INSIDE.