News hardware “You’re ugly”, “You’re useless”… a multinational sends insults to thousands of French people
Published on 09/11/2022 at 17:58
A wave of indignation has just swept over social networks, Twitter in the lead of course. In question ? SMS insults issued by a multinational: Burger King. Provocative, has the brand gone too far?
“You’re ugly”, “You’re useless” … Burger King insults the French and remains in its usual provocations
In the 70s and 80s, it is commonly accepted that we went through a “golden age of advertising”. The brands had full confidence in the creatives who gave it their all. Provocations and punch ideas were then commonplace in the industry.
Lawsuits, scandals, changes in the moral values of society, the desire to control companies… the reasons which explain the end of this golden age are multiple. The fact is that today it is very rare to see advertising campaigns that come out of the slick codes that we all know by heart. .
The soul of the “golden age of advertising” nonetheless resides in the brand image of a few big companies, including Burger King, which has a series of aggressive and original communications operations…even if it sometimes shocks. To illustrate this, just take a 2 minute look at Burger King’s recent advertising campaigns. In the last 2 years alone, we have been entitled to:
Burger King recently surfed on THE big world news : rising fuel prices. Accompanied by a clever image, it read the slogan “Gasoline prices go up at the pump, Whopper prices go down at the Drive”. As a reminder, the Whopper is Burger King’s signature burger, their own Big Mac.Burger King troll souvent son rival McDonald’s. We have seen the brand’s restaurants “dress up” as McDonalds to “scare” on Halloween or deliveries made in fake McDonalds bags to make a “bad joke” on April 1st.
With such a history, it’s hardly surprising to see Burger King sending insulting text messages. Far from being a communication error, this is part of a well-rehearsed strategy, and the image of the brand is not likely to suffer from it, on the contrary.. People will share screenshots on the internet, a little inexpensive buzz will be created, and their cool and provocative brand image will be reinforced. It’s all winning.
What was the real intention behind Burger King’s insulting text messages?
Seeking virality at all costs by overcoming most moral barriers is not a good thing by nature. Don’t make us say what we don’t say: provocation is a dangerous game and the line between a good joke and a hurtful message for millions of people is quickly crossed.
If trolling MacDo is a good-natured act, this is not the case with a salvo of insulting messages. So: what exactly happened this Wednesday, November 9, 2022 in the afternoon?
The French men and women who have downloaded the Burger King app (from our research, there seem to be over a million) all seem to have received several hateful text messages. This was even the case with one of the editorial staff. Our dear Ludo received 4 text messages one after the other:
“You’re ugly.”“You suck.”“You’re useless.”“You put us to shame.”
Our homemade screenshots
You just have to scroll Twitter for a few seconds to realize that these same messages have been received by a lot of other people, sometimes visibly outraged.
Some time this first salvo of text messages, Burger King returned to the charge with 3 new messages. This time, the why and how is explained and the feeling of unease tries to defuse:
This time, no joke. You have just experienced what thousands of children who are victims of bullying experience every day.
For the national day against bullying at school, tomorrow we will donate all the benefits of the King Jr menus to the association Les Papillons.
Help the association Les Papillons in their fight by making a donation here.
If BK may have gone further than ever, it was for a good cause. For them, a noble end justifies aggressive means. Why not.