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How Burger King’s Pride Whopper stunt failed it’s target audience

Burger King Austria attempted to celebrate Pride Month with a campaign gone haywire. They decided to offer sandwiches which have the same bun ends on top and button. This initiative was met with a mixed response but it mostly failed to impress its target audience.

People from the LGBTQ+ community described the campaign as tone deaf and a lazy attempt in the name of promotion during pride month.

The Campaign

The “Pride Whopper” campaign was announced through Instagram - a burger served with two “equal buns” to symbolize “equal love and rights.” The brand has received a mixed-to-negative response and international coverage after this stunt.

Here’s what the post said: “We set an example for the equality of all identities and sexual orientations. A little twist meant to put a smile on our faces and remind us to treat each other with respect and peace. No matter who you are and who you love,” with the hashtag #TimeToBeProud.

What is Rainbow Washing?

Rainbow washing is the act of using or adding rainbow colors and/or imagery to advertising in order to indicate progressive support for LGBTQ equality and earn consumer credibility - but with a minimum of effort or pragmatic result. It is when a business or organisation uses the rainbow Pride colours to suggest to consumers that they support the LGBTQI+ community, without having to put in actual effort or create a tangible outcome for queer folk.

The Response

Responses were mixed ranging from people saying that the brand better be donating as well while having their bit of fun, to individuals feeling like this kind of lazy attempt to land on a queer joke for a Pride month ad was not something laughable and the community deserves better than that.

What are your thoughts on this - is this a typical case of another campaign gone wrong? What happens when a certain advertising campaign fails to impress the very audience it was intended for? Write to us in the comment section as we would love to know your thoughts.

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