As part of his award-winning 2004 doc Super Size Me, director Morgan Spurlock put a selection of McDonald’s food, along with a burger and fries from a local diner, in glass jars to observe and compare the decomposition process. The results would’ve been shocking if we didn’t already know that the fast food was pumped full of preservatives. But still, to see french fries appear pristine and appetizing after 10 weeks out on the counter was decidedly unsettling. Here were the chemicals we put in our bodies each and every time we would like fries with that.
Burger King has now announced that it’s removed artificial preservatives from the Whopper in more than 400 U.S. locations, an endeavor that will reach all American outlets by the end of this year. The brand is also declaring that more than 90% of all its food ingredients are free from artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives, and it’s removed MSG and high-fructose corn syrup from all food items. To mark the occasion, the company decided to adapt Spurlock’s experiment into its advertising with a new spot called “The Moldy Whopper.”
Of course, some may balk at utilizing fuzzy green mold to sell food, but here that fungus has a purpose to convince us that this BK burger, however inherently unhealthy, isn’t also loaded with unnecessary chemicals. Most advertising claims have lost all meaning after decades of less-than-devout commitments to the truth, so here BK does the only logical thing and shows us the receipts for its claim. What makes this thing so moldy and gross is what makes it good. All that, and with the subtle Super Size Me nod, the brand has also found yet another way to troll its golden arched rival.
One question is how they might extend this campaign in-store. How about a sealed glass case right at the front counter, in which a fresh Whopper is placed at the start of every month, with each passing day displayed for all to see as they step up to place their order. Too much? Probably, yeah.
Either way, show us the fries next, please.