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Burger King's "Whopper Virgins" Film Causes Controversy

Burger King's "Whopper Virgins" Film Causes Controversy

As far as controversy goes, one would have thought Pepsi's Suicidal Calorie ads would be hard to top, but a new campaign from Burger King is generating just as much buzz. On a new website,, Burger King is showing footage of Thai villagers and Transylvanian farmers taking their first bite ever of a hamburger. The film, which was made by Stacy Peralta, the director of acclaimed documentaries like Riding Giants, is being dubbed the world's "purest taste test." But so far, the campaign created by Crispin Porter + Bogusky has received negative backlash from bloggers and even the advertising media. "These people would probably prefer schools and hospitals to prefab burgers," said Adweek's Barbara Lippert. Brian Morrissey of AdFreak called it "embarrassing and emblematic of how ignorant Americans still seem to the rest of the world." To check out a trailer of the ad,


Do you agree with these remarks? Is this production funny, just plain stupid, or insensitive to these developing areas? Is it a good thing that these villagers are being introduced to America's fast food culture?


piglette33 piglette33 8 years
YumSugar, seriously, that's kinda embarrassing. The modern-day name for Transylvania is Transylvania. It's not a country in itself, it's a region in Romania and it has been for thousands of years. Information is only just a Google-search away.
amandaaa amandaaa 8 years
i really thought this was a joke. like, paid actors. i myself am a whopper virgin...never tried them!
macgirl macgirl 8 years
Wow, good for them. In this economy, if you can still get clients to pay outrageous sums of money for crappy ads they must be good at something. And I guess on some level bad press is still good press ;-) On a side note, nothing makes me happier than seeing their old "King" commercials. I love that big cartoon head King.
Food Food 8 years
@macgirl: apparently some people really still love Crispin! The agency, known for its "love it or hate it work," was just voted agency of the year. Hm...
Food Food 8 years
@sugarysweet: I used to think the same thing! Yes, the modern-day name for it is Romania. :)
redegg redegg 8 years
I don't have a problem with it and thought it was an interesting idea.
LadyLiLa83 LadyLiLa83 8 years
I don't really find them offensive, just stupid.
Calimie Calimie 8 years
This kind of thing makes me want to boycott the brand (the won't miss me though, I only go some 3 or 4 times a year). I won't because the Spanish "section" is not the one who ordered this ad, theirs are fairly normal "come and eat" stuff.
cherrypop cherrypop 8 years
They have McDonalds and BK in Thailand. Then again, I think these villagers and farmers couldn't care less about burgers. I think there's nothing wrong bringing McDonald's into other countries, but to do a taste test like that is just like forcefully shoving fast food down people's throats instead of allowing people to explore this type of fast food on their own. And the label "whopper virgins" somehow made me feel as if BK is laughing at people who have never tasted a burger in their lives. It's just like laughing at others who are still virgins. Both are lifestyle choices people make so who are we to laugh at them for doing what they think is right?
CarlyHP226685 CarlyHP226685 8 years
i think they are a little dumb but come on! people are soo freakin touchy now, its ridiculous. Get over it.
jennjennnbubba jennjennnbubba 8 years
I haven't seen this one before but I have seen the others. IDK if I'd go so far as saying it is "embarrassing and emblematic of how ignorant Americans still seem to the rest of the world.", but I think it makes a statement.
macgirl macgirl 8 years
Crispin has really fallen off the map. First those "fantastic" Bill Gates & Jerry Seinfeld spots now this. Maybe if they wouldn't have lost some of their key people they would still be a viable agency.
ilanac13 ilanac13 8 years
it always baffles me how far CP+B will try to push the envelope on advertising and creative - and this is just showing that sometimes things are a bit TOO much.
sugarysweet sugarysweet 8 years
So Transylvania is real?
krae85 krae85 8 years
for the record, I'm not making fun of anyone, I'm just pointing out that the people targeted for this ad have diets very different from our own.
hippiecowgirl hippiecowgirl 8 years
I've seen a couple of these commercials. They don't offend me nearly as much as Pepsi's suicidal calorie, but I don't like the fact that they're exploiting these people and introducing them to nasty grease balls.
desidesi desidesi 8 years
they should've done focus groups before airing these commercials i mean, how could they possibly have thought it would be a good idea?
yaksmilk yaksmilk 8 years
burger king is not food ... fuud, maybe really hate it when people make fun of people in other countries i hope they're not broadcasting this outside of the states
krae85 krae85 8 years
the commercial I saw had tribal people from like the amazon, I haven't seen the one mentioned above.
misogi misogi 8 years
krae85 - Bugs? Monkey brains? These are villagers and farmers, according to partysugar. I'm surprised that BK thought this was a good idea. First Pepsi with their suicidal calorie, and now this? It just looks like they're all doing this on purpose for the attention, and that's horrible.
CaterpillarGirl CaterpillarGirl 8 years
I agree they are in bad taste, alot of the areas they go into to find "whopper virgins" are riddled with poverty, it would have served them best to donate money to fight hunger and say something like "there are people who have never had a whopper, and they might not ever, but we are going to make sure they have some food their way"
krae85 krae85 8 years
This is idiotic. Number one, I'm going to rely on the tastes of tribal people who eat.. Bugs? Monkey brains? I don't know what. Two, isn't this why other countries don't like us? Because we try to Americanize everyone else? Three, I don't eat meat anyway. And I find the term virgin to be somewhat insulting in this context.
starangel82 starangel82 8 years
I saw this commercial on TV a few nights ago. I hated it. Actually I think majority of BK's commercials are stupid. I'm not sure I'd call them "embarrassing and emblematic of how ignorant Americans still seem to the rest of the world.", but I think it makes a statement.
snarkypants snarkypants 8 years
i really didn't think those commercials were real!!! guess i'm too cynical. haha
tlsgirl tlsgirl 8 years
Oh yeah, great idea. Let's introduce healthy people to our nasty food. They may not have a word for "burger," but you can bet if they start hungering for Whoppers they'd better have a word for "obesity."
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