Fast Food Nation: Burger King

When it comes to fast food, the ‘home of the whopper’ is probably popular with many. For a long time, they’ve associated their flame-grilled burgers as a ‘healthier’ alternative to deep-fried ones. But are they?

Whopper of calories

Even though part of BK’s marketing has always been about being ‘healthy’, it seems that many Singaporeans don’t really care whether their patty’s grilled or fried. But in case you do want to know, even flame-grilled can give you a whopper count of calories.

For example, a Double Whopper with Cheese has 1,070kcals, compared to Wendy’s Baconator Cheeseburger at 950kcal (and that’s two layers of beef patty with bacon) or a deep-fried item – like BK’s own Tendercrisp Chicken, which has 660kcals.

Strange Marketing Efforts

For Valentine’s Day this year, BK in Israel came up with a rather racy campaign that seems like a cross between Fifty Shades and a kiddie meal. The BK “Adults Meal” included two Whoppers, two packs of French fries, two beers, and a “romantic adult toy” which turned out to be a blindfold, a metal head massager, and a feather duster (to clean up after?). But seriously… beer? What’s sexy about burping your Whoppers?

Then again, BK seems to a hard-on for sex-based marketing. In 2009, BK Singapore ran a rather racy ‘blowjob ad’ with the headline “It’ll blow your mind away” which has gone down in “badvertising” infamy thanks to its suggestive imagery:

While the methodology of this ad was lambasted, BK Germany actually managed to convey the same message with a less rude version of their ad:

Flame-grilled outlet

Burger King has been known to be flame-grilled, rather than deep-fried (although they do have deep fried items on their menu). But last year, a BK outlet in Jurong’s JEM was literally flame-grilled when its kitchen caught fire.

But… it’s JEM, so nobody’s really surprised. When the incident happened, bystanders noticed a cloud of smoke in the corridors, and a “bbq aroma” in the air.