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Deeply offended by the new 'Whopper Virgin" TV Ads. Am I totally crazy?

oracle347 Dec 16, 2008 06:45 AM

Hi fellow CHOWers!
Has anyone seen these "Whopper Virgin" ads? Burger King uses indiginious people to taste test the Big Mac and the Whopper. Evidently they prefer the Whopper. I understand the concept, but I'm trying to figure out why I'm SO SO offended by these darn ads! Maybe it's the introduction of aboriginal peoples to somthing so corperate? Am I totally nuts?

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  1. rockandroller1 RE: oracle347 Dec 16, 2008 07:01 AM

    this was discussed at length over in the "chains" board I believe.

    1. JungMann RE: oracle347 Dec 16, 2008 07:31 AM

      There is nothing in their commercials that portrays non-Western cultures as inferior or in a demeaning light (nor is there anything to suggest that these people are "aboriginal" within their lands). There is nothing inherently evil about corporations. There is nothing inherently evil about Burger King whoppers (well, except the flavor). There is an intersection of political totems and taboos here that riles certain people, but objectively there is nothing in these ads that justifies the foaming-at-the-mouth response some have had.

      1 Reply
      1. re: JungMann
        Davwud RE: JungMann Dec 16, 2008 10:14 AM

        Well put.

        It's getting mad at something for the sake of getting mad at it.


      2. b
        bnemes3343 RE: oracle347 Dec 16, 2008 07:37 AM

        Check out this recent thread on the same topic


        Personally the ad grates on my too, probably for the same reason as you. How could you take a group of people that (presumably) don't clog their arteries with this crap and expose them to this; but I guess I've got more important things to worry about.

        1 Reply
        1. re: bnemes3343
          dolores RE: bnemes3343 Dec 16, 2008 07:42 AM

          I find them funny. And if not for the free PR they're getting here, I wouldn't have given them a second glance.

        2. a
          Alan408 RE: oracle347 Dec 16, 2008 07:56 AM

          Do you believe there is a antenna ball head man running Jack, do you believe there is a King giving away money at BK, do you believe a caveman is boycotting GEICO?

          2 Replies
          1. re: Alan408
            ChinoWayne RE: Alan408 Dec 16, 2008 09:31 AM

            No, but there really is a clown cooking the food at my local McDonalds.

            1. re: ChinoWayne
              adamshoe RE: ChinoWayne Dec 17, 2008 04:01 PM

              Touché......LOL Adam

          2. jgg13 RE: oracle347 Dec 16, 2008 07:57 AM

            "Am I totally nuts?"

            Yes, you are. It's entertaining, It's stupid, It's not offensive.

            1 Reply
            1. re: jgg13
              oracle347 RE: jgg13 Dec 16, 2008 10:07 AM

              *L* I'll take it!

            2. chicgail RE: oracle347 Dec 16, 2008 09:19 AM

              While we can't personally speak to the state of your mental health, IMHO, the commercials push the envelope of good taste (in both meanings of the word) and good sense, but let's face it, the American advertising and marketing industries don't seem to have limits.

              At least it's not as obnoxious as the ads that try to tell us that HFCS is a "natural" ingredient and perfectly healthy.

              5 Replies
              1. re: chicgail
                bnemes3343 RE: chicgail Dec 16, 2008 09:24 AM

                "the American advertising and marketing industries don't seem to have limits"

                Are you kidding me? The American ad market is prudish compared to much of the rest of the world. The only thing we don't have limits on here is stupidity and bad taste...

                1. re: bnemes3343
                  Gio RE: bnemes3343 Dec 16, 2008 09:28 AM

                  "The only thing we don't have limits on here is stupidity and bad taste..."

                  Hey, that's *my* line. And, it's why the Mute button is priceless.

                  1. re: bnemes3343
                    Gio RE: bnemes3343 Dec 16, 2008 09:47 AM

                    Granted, there certainly are clever, entertaining, and hilarious commercials, especially those made in Europe. But Most of them are, as you say, stupid and in bad taste... Accent on the stupid.

                    I'll have to keep my eyes peeled for the one you mentioned, Bob.

                    1. re: Gio
                      bnemes3343 RE: Gio Dec 16, 2008 10:09 AM

                      You will probably never see it. The only time I have seen it is in those occassional specials. So here goes, for as long as it lasts. You see this Mercedes driven by a nice looking middle aged man roaring through a heavy snow storm. Scene shifts to a living room where an attractive middle aged women is heavily smooching with a young stud. He says, "are you sure you're husband won't come home"? She replies, "not in this weather". Back to the Mercedes roaring through a foot of snow. One more repeat of the woman and young stud where they repeat the conversation. Next scene is the Mercedes pulling up to a house, where the man jumps out and races to the fron door. He yanks it open and inside is a very attractive young woman who says "won't your wife expect you home"? He replies, "not in this weather". the commercial makes me crave Ice Cream if that helps keep it on.

                      1. re: bnemes3343
                        Gio RE: bnemes3343 Dec 16, 2008 10:14 AM

                        You're brave. Me? I'm craving chicken soup. LOL

              2. CityPork RE: oracle347 Dec 16, 2008 09:57 AM

                Our society needs to stop pushing the "offended" button. This is just a commercial...they made a commercial that is going to spark conversation. Sparking conversation gets people thinking about your product and because of this, I had a Whopper dream last night. I haven't eaten at BK in over a decade.

                1. q
                  queencru RE: oracle347 Dec 16, 2008 10:18 AM

                  I don't find it offensive. It's probably not in the best taste, but it's not horrible. I've certainly seen actual TV shows that are far more offensive in another country that I will not mention here.

                  1. Davwud RE: oracle347 Dec 16, 2008 10:19 AM


                    They have a sample of people who've never been exposed to the whole "Burger wars" thing and ask them to do a taste test.
                    Sorry but that's not offensive any more than a Japanese (Assuming you don't speak Japanese) ad company coming to you and asking you to taste test something.

                    They aren't trying to make these people survive for all eternity on only Whoppers. A Whopper once in your life is not gonna clog your arteries. Based on the commercial for one of those care agencies I saw at lunch, a Whopper would be a healthy choice over the fire roasted rats they ate.


                    1. c
                      Chimayo Joe RE: oracle347 Dec 16, 2008 11:00 AM

                      I think it's condescending to be offended by the ads. Those people are people, not some sort of endangered wildlife, and shouldn't be dehumanized.

                      20 Replies
                      1. re: Chimayo Joe
                        bnemes3343 RE: Chimayo Joe Dec 16, 2008 11:04 AM

                        And you don't find exploiting them in the ad to be even the slightest bit dehumanizing? Ok, maybe they weren't 'exploited'. Hopefully they were compensated, but while I don't feel that strongly about the ad, dehumanizing and exploiting where the first verbs that popped into my head.

                        1. re: bnemes3343
                          Chimayo Joe RE: bnemes3343 Dec 16, 2008 11:07 AM

                          I'd say whether they've been exploited depends on whether THEY feel they've been exploited. It's not my call.

                          1. re: bnemes3343
                            ChinoWayne RE: bnemes3343 Dec 16, 2008 11:14 AM

                            How do we know they were not all actors? Don't believe what the ads try to sell, and don't take them seriously, their sole purpose is to make you look, and you looked.

                            It was just typical advertising silliness, laugh at it, or not, but don't worry about it.

                            1. re: ChinoWayne
                              LindaWhit RE: ChinoWayne Dec 16, 2008 11:41 AM

                              In another thread, interviews with either BK or the ad company said they were NOT actors.

                              1. re: LindaWhit
                                ChinoWayne RE: LindaWhit Dec 16, 2008 11:44 AM

                                Regardless, Linda, any commercial should be taken as a fiction, sometimes an entertaining fiction, sometimes just an annoyance.

                          2. re: Chimayo Joe
                            JungMann RE: Chimayo Joe Dec 16, 2008 11:12 AM

                            Well-put Chimayo. It smacks of what would be called in another setting, "Orientalism." High-minded folks might very well think that they are simply standing in solidarity with those exploited taste testers, but in actuality, they are condescendingly casting them as a helpless and eternally victimized "Western man's burden."

                            1. re: JungMann
                              bnemes3343 RE: JungMann Dec 16, 2008 11:51 AM

                              I just hope they got paid. If they did, they maybe they are laughing at all of us.

                              1. re: bnemes3343
                                Blueicus RE: bnemes3343 Dec 17, 2008 11:50 AM

                                Perhaps they just an all-expenses paid trip to the city where they filmed the commercial... a good deal too. It's not like the producers went out into the junge and shot tranquilizer darts at them to use as test subjects, and foreign people aren't stupid... well, at least no more stupid than domestic people.

                                1. re: Blueicus
                                  KTinNYC RE: Blueicus Dec 17, 2008 12:56 PM

                                  I don't think there is any way S.A.G. would let these "whopper virgins" be in these commercials without getting paid.

                                  1. re: KTinNYC
                                    MplsM ary RE: KTinNYC Dec 17, 2008 10:55 PM

                                    Except that for commercials it's not SAG but rather AFTRA.

                                    Somehow I don't think the commercials went over very well in our market. I saw one some time ago, then nothing.

                                    1. re: MplsM ary
                                      Chimayo Joe RE: MplsM ary Dec 17, 2008 11:18 PM

                                      It could be worse. Check out this website. http://www.firemeetsdesire.com/

                                      Keep clicking until you get to the King on the rug. Deeply disturbing. ;-P

                                      1. re: Chimayo Joe
                                        LindaWhit RE: Chimayo Joe Dec 18, 2008 05:22 AM

                                        THAT is Just. Plain. WRONG.

                                        1. re: Chimayo Joe
                                          Davwud RE: Chimayo Joe Dec 18, 2008 06:05 AM

                                          AHH, MY EYES!!!!!


                                          1. re: Davwud
                                            dolores RE: Davwud Dec 27, 2008 02:37 AM

                                            Hysterical!!!!!!!!!!!! Is that an online ad only?

                                            Keep clicking after the 'King' appears -- brilliant. It goes on and on and on -- and the pen being used? It's an old-fashioned pen, how interesting.

                                            I loved it and found it almost as funny as the controversy surrounding the current BK commercial.

                                            Is 'Flame' realllllly for sale? I was afraid to click on it.

                                            GOOD for BK!

                                          2. re: Chimayo Joe
                                            alkapal RE: Chimayo Joe Jan 3, 2009 06:24 AM

                                            chimayo joe, that bk ad online is hilarious! who knew the king had barry white's voice?!? and...what i really want to know, just why was he hiding his scepter? {;^D.

                                2. re: Chimayo Joe
                                  Leonardo RE: Chimayo Joe Dec 19, 2008 09:20 AM

                                  I agree with JungMann (so perfectly stated!) also Chimayo & Citypork. It's condescending, dehumanizing, and patronizing to these so-called "traditional peoples" for ultra-PC do-gooders to presume to speak for them and their alleged "exploitation". As a matter of fact, I think using them as an object and tool to bash BK is in and of itself exploitation of these people, who did not ask anyone for our help! This whole idea of the exoticized "other" and the "noble unspoiled savage" has got to go. Really. This is 2008 not 1870.

                                  That being said, the only thing about the ad that offends me is the very existence of a "food" item called a "Whopper"!

                                  Please remember everyone: last time I checked, there's no constitutional guarantee that grants you the right to not be offended. We are all so easily offended at the drop of a hat these days!

                                  1. re: Leonardo
                                    ChinoWayne RE: Leonardo Dec 19, 2008 09:28 AM

                                    Well said.

                                    1. re: ChinoWayne
                                      thew RE: ChinoWayne Dec 27, 2008 04:20 AM

                                      exactly. reminds me of when i was spending a few months in nepal many year ago. i was outside a shrine probably from the 14th century or so that had been decorated with neon strips. two tourists behind my complaining aout how disgusting the neon wa and how it ruined the shrine. I turned to them and told them this was a place where people lived and not some museum for their entertainment.

                                      this idea that other people's culture's are not allowed to change or develop to suit your condescending ideas of their purity - now THAT is offensive

                                      1. re: thew
                                        Davwud RE: thew Dec 27, 2008 06:01 AM

                                        Don't you just love people who are offended on behalf of someone else??


                                        1. re: thew
                                          Leonardo RE: thew Dec 27, 2008 10:37 AM

                                          Thew: "this idea that other people's cultures are not allowed to change or develop to suit your condescending ideas of their purity - now THAT is offensive"...well said! This can be applied perfectly to the notion of "authenticity" that some insist be used as some sort of litmus test for "ethnic" food.

                                  2. Withnail42 RE: oracle347 Dec 19, 2008 03:44 AM

                                    The adds irked me as well. Not too sure why. Perhaps it its because if there are parts of the world where one can go and not see a BK or a Mcdondalds why ruin it.

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: Withnail42
                                      mudaba RE: Withnail42 Dec 19, 2008 09:55 AM

                                      I couldn't agree more Withnail! The thing that really bugs me about the ads is the feeling that every single person in the entire world needs to know what a Burger King is. That may be the future, but it's sort of grim.


                                    2. jeni1002 RE: oracle347 Dec 19, 2008 12:05 PM

                                      I think the real comparison should be Whopper vs. the local artery-clogging sausage/meat patty in the countries where they filmed....but I guess in the world of marketing, this wouldn't really work.

                                      The commercials did bother me - maybe because I do come from one of these countries. And for millions of TV viewers who have no idea where Romania is, this will be the only image that they will associate with it....(and that darn Anthony Bourdain episode. :)

                                      2 Replies
                                      1. re: jeni1002
                                        ChinoWayne RE: jeni1002 Dec 19, 2008 01:13 PM

                                        Not to worry, most of us are smarter and more discriminating than the marketing mavens would think. The best way for anyone to respond who may be offended or disturbed by any marketing, just ignore it, don't buy the product or use the service, and the marketer will have failed in his effort.

                                        1. re: ChinoWayne
                                          jeni1002 RE: ChinoWayne Dec 19, 2008 03:29 PM

                                          Thank you! This is exactly what I was hoping to read!

                                      2. duckdown RE: oracle347 Dec 19, 2008 12:58 PM

                                        This "deeply offends" you?

                                        You must live one incredibly sheltered life then, because there is content out there that is plenty more offensive

                                        1. Sam Fujisaka RE: oracle347 Dec 25, 2008 02:42 PM

                                          I had to YouTube to see the adds in question. Not offensive, but certainly there are now very few places where there are no McDonald's and Burger Kings. The ad peoplle did have to get people to wear their traiditional garb not worn everyday, however.

                                          1. im_nomad RE: oracle347 Dec 26, 2008 11:10 AM

                                            yeah, i gotta say i really don't like the ads either. it's almost like they're taking the aboriginal peoples and having this situation, so that the "civilized world" can be entertained with how they perform. while i agree that it is not my place to decide what someone else should feel offended by, it just seemed a little exploitative to me. what do i know...

                                            then again, when you have pepsi ads with little blue characters blowing their brains out....you can't exactly have much faith in the advertising industry.

                                            2 Replies
                                            1. re: im_nomad
                                              Leonardo RE: im_nomad Dec 26, 2008 01:15 PM

                                              All this self-righteous indignation on behalf of people who did not request help reminds me of those bumper stickers that spout a fake quote from Chief Seattle "The Earth Does Not Belong to Man...Man Belongs to the Earth". This hoax was actually written by one of the founders of Earth Day in the early 1970's, yet has been assigned to a more "noble savage" aspect of humanity who is supposedly more in touch with nature. When we assign sentiments and ideas to so-called "aboriginal peoples" in order to give the quotes more loftiness, THAT is my idea of objectification. That kind of hokum offends me far more deeply than a silly ad.

                                              1. re: Leonardo
                                                im_nomad RE: Leonardo Dec 26, 2008 06:53 PM

                                                well, i'm not familiar with that one, however, and however unrelated this comment may be to the OP.and simply my two cents worth...I think that if everyone in the world simply sat back and waited until those who are harmed to rise up and defend themselves, and kept on with "well they haven't SAID they're offended"..."well it's not my place"...the world would be a sad place. I'm sure there are many things that go on in the world without a word of protest on the part of the person on the recieving end, for whatever reason.

                                            2. b
                                              bostonbelle RE: oracle347 Dec 27, 2008 04:31 AM

                                              American Big Business making money on the backs of people who neither participate in our version of capitalism nor understand the ramifications of it. "Have it your way"

                                              1. b
                                                backinbrooklyn RE: oracle347 Dec 29, 2008 03:43 AM

                                                What offends me about the ads is that one of the burger virgins clearly represents a culture where meat, especially COW meat is not eaten.

                                                9 Replies
                                                1. re: backinbrooklyn
                                                  KTinNYC RE: backinbrooklyn Dec 29, 2008 04:06 AM

                                                  Which one?

                                                  1. re: KTinNYC
                                                    Withnail42 RE: KTinNYC Dec 29, 2008 04:20 AM

                                                    The Inuit. Not many cattle ranches in the arctic.

                                                    1. re: Withnail42
                                                      thew RE: Withnail42 Dec 29, 2008 04:24 AM

                                                      but there is no cultural prohibition amongst the innuit that would make offering them cow meat offensive, which is what i inferred from BiB's post. brooklyn clearly confused a group (i would guess the ones from northern thailand) with hindus.

                                                      1. re: thew
                                                        KTinNYC RE: thew Dec 29, 2008 04:47 AM

                                                        Right, just because cows are not indigenous to the Arctic doesn't mean there are any cultural prohibition to consuming cows. Maybe I've missed one of the "testers" but I never saw any ad where there was a person from a culture that eating cow was prohibitive.

                                                        1. re: KTinNYC
                                                          thew RE: KTinNYC Dec 29, 2008 05:06 AM

                                                          i just went to the site and watched the little film - which was way more compelling than the ad, just to see if i missed anything, but no - just those three places. no hindu. no prohibition on beef. nothing offensive except the assumption that asian people who put their hands together in that manner must be from india

                                                        2. re: thew
                                                          Withnail42 RE: thew Dec 29, 2008 04:58 PM

                                                          I never took the post to mean that any of the people in the ads were from a culture where beef was prohibited. I took it to be an interesting point that for some of the cultures it is something that is not readily available and thought it was an interesting point.

                                                    2. re: backinbrooklyn
                                                      thew RE: backinbrooklyn Dec 29, 2008 04:20 AM

                                                      i only saw people from the hill tribes of northern thailand, romania, and innuit from greenland. all meat eaters. no hindus.

                                                      so i guess i find that assumption slightly offensive. not all "brown" people are from india.

                                                      1. re: thew
                                                        dolores RE: thew Dec 29, 2008 05:15 AM

                                                        Bottom line, the ad is successful. Look at all the free PR they have gotten.


                                                        1. re: dolores
                                                          Leonardo RE: dolores Dec 29, 2008 06:13 AM

                                                          ...and not all people from India are "brown". And not all Indians are Hindu.

                                                          Bottom line for me: haven't been to BK in 30 years, and all the free PR in the world will never change that!

                                                    3. b
                                                      backinbrooklyn RE: oracle347 Dec 29, 2008 06:30 AM

                                                      What a friendly group! i can't wait to post here again! I guess I didn't research that ad well enough!!!! I just saw it out of the corner of my eye & posted my reaction to it. As I recall the contest was between burgerslop & Mcgarbage. Who care which is better - they both suck!

                                                      2 Replies
                                                      1. re: backinbrooklyn
                                                        LindaWhit RE: backinbrooklyn Dec 29, 2008 07:27 AM

                                                        And by your "i can't wait to post here again" comment, perhaps that means you won't be posting here because of people disagreeing with your sentiment about the ads. You posted your opinion; others have posted theirs. Take what you want from them, if anything, and leave the rest behind.

                                                        But I wouldn't stop posting on CH just because people disagreed with you. That happens in real life as well. Some of us agreed with you; others didn't. But if there's tasty goodness out there that you know about, continue posting to help others in the CH community local to you!

                                                        1. re: backinbrooklyn
                                                          a_and_w RE: backinbrooklyn Jan 12, 2009 12:17 PM

                                                          Waah! If you play the righteousness card, be prepared to have someone trump.

                                                        2. r
                                                          Rick RE: oracle347 Jan 3, 2009 11:03 AM

                                                          Like one poster above mentioned, how is it much different from a foreign company coming to you and asking you to taste their product, a product which you've never heard of? To be offended means you think the people in the commercial are some sort of "special" people that need protecting.

                                                          3 Replies
                                                          1. re: Rick
                                                            queencru RE: Rick Jan 14, 2009 06:59 AM

                                                            Agreed. I taught abroad before and on my last day my students and one teacher had a contest where they made me try different traditional foods and tried to guess which ones I'd like the most/least. Was I offended? Absolutely not. It's not like I had to eat any of those items again if I didn't want to, nor do the people in the commercial have any obligation. It's up to the people in a particular culture to decide whether they will accept a new food/technology/product. If they decide it is offensive or not needed, they will reject it.

                                                            1. re: queencru
                                                              chowser RE: queencru Jan 14, 2009 08:42 AM

                                                              The question is did you expect the students to then go home and tell their families you didn't like xxxx so it must not be good and you liked yyy so it must be the best? It's an interesting question what people who don't know anything about fast food burgers like better but BK seems to think the rest of us will then think, "Yeah, that must be better then!" Has anyone seen the results of the survey? I know BK only shows people who've chosen theirs but I'd be curious to know what the breakdown is.

                                                              1. re: chowser
                                                                Rick RE: chowser Jan 14, 2009 10:09 AM

                                                                Chowser, not that xxxx is not good and yyyy is best, it's xxx is better than xxxx. In the commercial they're comparing two of the same types of food, not a hamburger vs. an apple.

                                                          2. caveatempty RE: oracle347 Jan 11, 2009 11:37 AM

                                                            SNL featured a hilarious parody of the Whopper Virgin ads on last night's episode (hosted by Neil Patrick Harris). Looked for it on the official NBC site and Hulu but it hasn't posted yet. Here's a link to the skit on youtube. The quality is pretty awful and the picture is cut off on the right, but you'll get the gist.


                                                            1. MC Slim JB RE: oracle347 Jan 12, 2009 06:47 AM

                                                              I'm not bothered by the notion of cultural arrogance at work, you know, the implicit: "We're bringing some desperately-needed American food culture to benighted corners of the world." I think those corners are safe for the moment from the scourge of American fast food: they wouldn't be profitable enough to colonize. (Yet.)

                                                              What's laughable is the very notion of the comparison. "Which pile of dung is less offensive to you?" My own feeling is that, given a choice, the artificial smoke flavor in the BK patty is slightly preferable, and I suspect what most tasters are responding to. Either way, I'm going to feel nauseous 20 minutes later, and vow once again not to eat that hateful crap until the next time I'm marooned on an interstate highway with no alternatives.

                                                              26 Replies
                                                              1. re: MC Slim JB
                                                                alkapal RE: MC Slim JB Jan 12, 2009 07:32 AM

                                                                i personally prefer the bk pile of dung, with extra pickles and onions.....

                                                                1. re: MC Slim JB
                                                                  thew RE: MC Slim JB Jan 12, 2009 08:57 AM

                                                                  that attitude, while it does exist in the world, does not exist in these ads. there is no hint of the white man's burden here, no claim of cultural or culinary superiority. There is simply people, who have not had these 2 items before, comparing them.

                                                                  that said, there is already plenty of fast food in northern thailand, and i assume in the cities of romania as well.

                                                                  1. re: thew
                                                                    chowser RE: thew Jan 12, 2009 03:10 PM

                                                                    But what does it prove? You could give them a glass of Beringer's White Zinfandel and a glass of good wine (not naming one because no matter what I picked, there would be someone who would contest it) and ask which they preferred. If more picked Beringer's WZ, does it mean everyone, outside poor grad students like I used to, is drinking worst wine? I'm insulted, not for the people in the ad, but by BK's thinking, yes we're all THAT stupid that we'll fall for this.

                                                                    1. re: chowser
                                                                      Davwud RE: chowser Jan 13, 2009 03:49 AM

                                                                      Then you should be insulted by all Ads.


                                                                      1. re: Davwud
                                                                        chowser RE: Davwud Jan 13, 2009 04:16 AM

                                                                        I am, especially having come off election season. And thankful for DVR.

                                                                      2. re: chowser
                                                                        thew RE: chowser Jan 13, 2009 08:33 AM

                                                                        it doesnt prove anything. all it does it hopefully get more asses through the door and to the counter. it's an ad. not a treatise on anthropology, international relations or even food quality

                                                                        1. re: thew
                                                                          chowser RE: thew Jan 13, 2009 08:44 AM

                                                                          That's the thing--the ad geniuses think that people will watch it and head towards BK because if people who have no idea what a burger is likes BK better, it must be better. Has anyone seen stats on how many picked BK over McD? The few ads I've seen only shows the people who've picked BK but that doesn't mean anything. OTOH,maybe Americans are that stupid.

                                                                          1. re: chowser
                                                                            Chimayo Joe RE: chowser Jan 13, 2009 12:29 PM

                                                                            Nah. I don't think those ads were really so much about whether or not the whopper virgins chose BK over McDonalds. It was about getting people to watch the ads and talk about them. I don't even watch commercials anymore--I watch TV with remote in hand and channel surf when a commercial comes on. The whopper virgin ads got me to stop and watch them.

                                                                            1. re: Chimayo Joe
                                                                              jgg13 RE: Chimayo Joe Jan 13, 2009 01:37 PM

                                                                              Exactly. If anything, this thread proves that this was a *good* ad.

                                                                              1. re: jgg13
                                                                                MC Slim JB RE: jgg13 Jan 13, 2009 07:36 PM

                                                                                Not necessarily. Negative feelings generated by ads can outweigh the benefits they bring in attention.

                                                                                1. re: MC Slim JB
                                                                                  alkapal RE: MC Slim JB Jan 13, 2009 08:37 PM

                                                                                  yes, but your negative feelings were already there....;-).

                                                                                  i suspect that most anyone who "cares" about the "important implications" of the ad are probably predisposed to dislike fast food burgers -- for reasons all over the map. that is just my opinion from observation of people over the years.

                                                                              2. re: Chimayo Joe
                                                                                a_and_w RE: Chimayo Joe Jan 14, 2009 08:49 AM

                                                                                Chimayo Joe, you have hit the nail on the head. This is especially true in the age of DVR, when I routinely fast forward through commercials unless they catch my eye.

                                                                          2. re: chowser
                                                                            Rick RE: chowser Jan 13, 2009 08:37 PM

                                                                            Chowser, I'm confused by your reasoning. If a group of people pick the Beringer's over the "good" wine, then is the other wine really the better tasting wine just because you think/say it is?

                                                                            1. re: Rick
                                                                              chowser RE: Rick Jan 14, 2009 04:03 AM

                                                                              People who don't know a product can't always pick the "best" one for those who do. My mom and her friends don't know much about pizza. They'll pick Domino's every time, over good wood burning stove pizza w/ fresh ingredients. Does that mean Domino's has the best pizza for people who know and like pizza? Put it this way, most Americans choose to eat egg rolls and egg foo young over real chinese food. Does that mean it's the best chinese food? I'm not going by those results and ditching my favorite chinese food for a bad eggroll just because people who have no clue prefer it.

                                                                              1. re: chowser
                                                                                Rick RE: chowser Jan 14, 2009 10:11 AM

                                                                                Chowser, the thing about that is, for your mother, Dominos IS the best pizza! What makes your opinion better than hers?

                                                                                1. re: Rick
                                                                                  chowser RE: Rick Jan 14, 2009 11:28 AM

                                                                                  No one is trying to convince the indigenous people that one is better than the other. BK is trying to convince us that because indigenous people prefer BK, that it's superior. A survey of my mom and her friends won't convince me that Domino's is the better pizza.

                                                                                  1. re: chowser
                                                                                    Davwud RE: chowser Jan 15, 2009 03:29 AM

                                                                                    Why does it matter to you if BK is trying to convince you that it's better than McD's?? Miller is trying to convince you it's better than Bud. Coke is trying to convince you it's better than Pepsi and Domino's is trying to convince you it's better than Pizza Hut. That's what commericals do. They try to convince you to buy their product.


                                                                                    1. re: Davwud
                                                                                      chowser RE: Davwud Jan 15, 2009 03:39 AM

                                                                                      It's how, not that they are. Honestly, I don't spend much time thinking about it and I don't eat either anyway. But the whole methodology is so skewed in this. They make it seem like it's scientific but it's not at all. I'm less offended by the "4 out of 5 dentists recommend" ads than the "I'm not a doctor but I play one on TV" ads. Though, maybe I've just overestimated that the average American is smarter than that and BK has it right on the money. They really are that dumb...which would be the original point of being misplaced outraged for people who don't know better.

                                                                                      1. re: chowser
                                                                                        Davwud RE: chowser Jan 15, 2009 03:50 AM

                                                                                        I hate to break it to ya but people see/read stuff and just believe it. ALL OF US DO. We may not do it as often as some. Some may do it all the time. There is just no shortage of people who don't bother to think things through. Who don't bother to form an opinion just take that of a radio show host or a columnist or something like that.

                                                                                        We just went through a Presidential election. That's a microcosm of what's wrong right there.


                                                                                        1. re: Davwud
                                                                                          chowser RE: Davwud Jan 15, 2009 03:57 AM

                                                                                          Exactly. It's not the ad itself but what it stands for--just like the election sound bites. But, I speak up because I have hope for Change.;-)

                                                                                          1. re: chowser
                                                                                            alkapal RE: chowser Jan 15, 2009 04:53 AM

                                                                                            change in your pocket? i hope i have some left....

                                                                                            1. re: chowser
                                                                                              Davwud RE: chowser Jan 15, 2009 11:25 AM

                                                                                              Hey chow. You can only do what's best for you. There's a painful amount of people out there who just refuse to use their brains.


                                                                                              1. re: Davwud
                                                                                                chowser RE: Davwud Jan 15, 2009 11:49 AM

                                                                                                Why bother thinking when they can have a plumber who has no knowledge of the Middle East tell us what's going on in Israel, indigenous people who don't know what a burger is telling us what is the best burger, and an actor who plays a doctor tell us what's best for the best pain relief?;-) What next, a bunny telling me what the best battery is?

                                                                                                Okay, now I've wasted far too much time thinking about this ad when it was just barely a blip in my life before.

                                                                                                1. re: chowser
                                                                                                  Davwud RE: chowser Jan 15, 2009 12:25 PM

                                                                                                  Most likely it isn't this ad but ads in general that have you worked up. Hell, sometimes it's fun to discuss stuff just for the sake of discussion.

                                                                                                  No worries. Happy New Year.


                                                                                                  1. re: Davwud
                                                                                                    chowser RE: Davwud Jan 15, 2009 04:50 PM

                                                                                                    Thanks--back atcha.:-)

                                                                            2. re: thew
                                                                              MC Slim JB RE: thew Jan 13, 2009 04:32 AM

                                                                              I wonder if those Transylvanian farmers wear that traditional garb every day, or if they were encouraged to wear those clothes (which look more like something you'd save for a feast day) for the entertainment of the American audience? Couldn't help the feeling that there's a little tacit sneering at the "colorful native costumes" going on there.

                                                                          3. viperlush RE: oracle347 Jan 13, 2009 05:10 AM

                                                                            Kind of reminds me of the movie "the Gods Must be Crazy". The followup commercials will show the "Whopper Virgins" finding alternative uses for the Whopper (animal feed, animal bait, etc) and then fighting over the Whoppers.

                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                            1. re: viperlush
                                                                              Davwud RE: viperlush Jan 13, 2009 06:08 AM

                                                                              Maybe McD's can run commercials on how Whoppers have ruined their village.


                                                                            2. Frodnesor RE: oracle347 Jan 14, 2009 11:24 AM

                                                                              Not to take anything away from the insightful commentary here, but this must be the most intriguing question raised about the ad campaign (warning, some may be deeply offended) ->

                                                                              2 Replies
                                                                              1. re: Frodnesor
                                                                                ChinoWayne RE: Frodnesor Jan 14, 2009 04:41 PM

                                                                                Hint: If you click on the link that Frod gives us above, don't be turned off by the title that displays, that is a hot link to a movie about how they made the commercial, just click on it, I found it interesting.

                                                                                If you want to avoid the possibly offensive language, go directly here: http://www.whoppervirgins.com/

                                                                                1. re: ChinoWayne
                                                                                  Ideefixed RE: ChinoWayne Jan 18, 2009 09:55 AM

                                                                                  I think they're great! The ads are directed by Stacy Peralta who made Dogtown and Z-Boys, as well as new film about the Crips and the Bloods.

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