Burger King is kicking off a new campaign with a TV ad depicting a woman spreading the fake news that the flame-grilled flavour of a Whopper is created by a secret, internet-enabled liquid smoke, rather than actual fire.
Created by Bartle Bogle Hegarty London and going live today (17 May), the ad is the first in a series that will take a tongue-in-cheek look at the world of food-based conspiracy theories.
The idea behind the campaign came from real-life instances of people on Reddit theorising about the flavour of Burger King's flagship burger.
In the 20-second ad, a woman is talking to her friend in a Burger King restaurant. "You know that smoky taste you get in a Whopper?" she says.
"That's not smoke. That's liquid. It's like liquid smoke – they get it from the internet, on a computer. And every morning somebody just dips the beef into it, into its own smoky little beef bath."
Not surprisingly, it turns out she's misinformed. "It's not a secret. It's real fire," the end-line says.
The ad was written by Elliott White, art directed by Wil Maxey and directed by Andrew Gaynord through MindsEye. The media agency is Vizeum.
The campaign will also feature AR experiences at out-of-home sites across major UK cities. Pedestrians are invited to scan a QR code that will activate an Instagram lens. When viewed through their smartphone, the poster's Whopper visual will be superimposed with smoke that directs them to the nearest Burger King. The directional lenses were created by Makemepulse.
Other OOH work will feature visuals created by Spanish illustration duo Cachetejack.
Soco Nunez, Burger King UK's marketing director, said: "In a world of fake news, people find it hard to believe the incredible taste of the Whopper can be that simple, but it really is. At Burger King we pride ourselves on being transparent with customers, and offering them great-tasting food, so, we won't be keeping any secrets about our delicious burgers. They're all real, with no artificial colours, flavours or preservatives."