There’s nothing quite like old, decaying and rotting food to whet the appetite — or so say ad executives at Burger King.
In a strange new ad titled “The Moldy Whopper,” Burger King announced plans to remove artificial preservatives from its famous Whopper burger.
The video shows a 34-day time-lapse of a Whopper, demonstrating its groundbreaking new talent: growing mold and fungus.
The new preservative-free Whopper is already being sold at 400 Burger King locations and will be available at all national locations by the end of the year, CNBC reports. The Washington Post reports Burger King is also removing 90% of the artificial coloring, flavoring and preservatives, as well as all MSG and high-fructose corn syrup from all its products.
While the ad highlights “The beauty of no artificial preservatives,” not everyone agrees, calling the image disgusting and even comparing it to the dangerously gross burger from “SpongeBob SquarePants.”
this moldy whopper ad for burger king looks like the burger that killed the health inspector from spongebob pic.twitter.com/L6stvHF1wa— karl (@scorpihobabe) February 19, 2020
TERRIBLE. I’m a huge fan of having a blast, taking risks & pushing people to experience brands in new ways-but putting a moldy, disintegrating #whopper on a pedestal? Um. NO. This idea should have gotten a big laugh in the bullpen & been tosssed in the trash can, with this burger— Julia Zapcic (@juliazapcic) February 19, 2020
Others are calling the Moldy Whopper campaign brave, and even genius.
Moldy Whoppers might be one of the most genius marketing ideas ever. Note the word might. #marketing #moldywhopper— Matt Seltzer (@S2Research) February 19, 2020
Challenger brand advertising is constantly evolving, arguably at a faster pace than leading brands. @BurgerKing going out on a limb to show their no preservative Whopper get moldy, and literally putting it on a pedestal.— Vincenzo Landino (@vincenzolandino) February 19, 2020
It takes guts to do this.
Fernando Machado, the chief marketing officer at Burger King’s parent company Restaurant Brands International, told USA Today that brand executives wanted the ad to stand out.
“The beauty of real food is that it gets ugly,” Machado said.