With the launch of a new less-than-subtle ad in Singapore, Burger King has taken its slogan of “Have it Your Way” to a whole new level.
This sexually driven ad leaves no room for misinterpretation, unless the viewer is under the age of 12, but since its debut last month it has caused a stir around the globe.
“At first I think it’s kind of funny, but highly perverted; if this were my company, I would say it was a huge mistake,” said Patrick Williamson, a junior in marketing. “I definitely don’t think this ad could run in the U.S.”
Even though the ad has only been used in Singapore during the past month, it has been seen worldwide by Burger King customers via the Internet.
“The woman in the ad clearly resembles an American, and that sheds a poor light on the U.S. as well as Burger King,” said Paige Reiber, a senior in health administrator for nursing.
Although the motto “sex sells” has been around for decades, students say it might be better to let the product sell itself.
“I think the ad is ridiculous,” said Mary Catherine Stewart, a senior in public relations. “Burger King is clearly using sex to sell this sandwich when it is unnecessary and inappropriate.”
It also appears that neither males nor females are partial to this ad.
“The ad is in bad taste because now there is a Burger King sandwich that is being related to oral sex,” said Alec Barnes, a sophomore in music. “What guy would order this sandwich? I mean, it looks delicious, but I don’t think they should have compared it to a male body part. That’s bad marketing.”
In addition to the photo that many find suggestive, the fine print reads:
“Fill your desire for something long, juicy and flame-grilled with the NEW BK SUPER SEVEN INCHER. Yearn for more after you taste the mind-blowing burger that comes with a single beef patty, topped with American cheese, crispy onions and the A1 Thick and Hearty Steak Sauce.”
“It’s sick,” Williamson said. “With words like ‘yearn for more’ and a lady who looks like a blow-up doll, is Burger King advertising a sandwich or a porno?”
Reiber said she suggested the advertisement place a male in the photo instead of the female.
“I don’t think the ad would appear to be as near as enticing to male customers if that were the case,” she said.
As for who is responsible for this advertising disaster, Burger King released this statement:
“Burger King Corporation (BKC) values and respects all of its guests. This advertisement is running to support a limited promotion in the Singapore market and is not running in the U.S. or any other markets. It was produced by a locally-based Singapore agency and not by BKC’s U.S. advertising agency of record, Crispin Porter and Bogusky.”
Some Burger King customers said they feel the ad brings up more issues than just simply bad taste.
“People wonder why we have so many problems with sex trafficking, rape, and teens having sex at such an early age,” Reiber said. “It is because of things like this. Burger King is just using this ad like sex is no big deal, when it is. It lacks ideal and integrity.”