Saturday, December 6, 2008

I Feel Bad for Virgins in General, Whopper Virgins in Particular

Burger King has a new ad campaign called "Whopper Virgins," in which people from remote parts of the world, places where they don't even have a name for a burger (I think the ad says something like that) are given a Whopper, and then a Big Mac. These people then choose which they like the best.

This is awesome.

Can you imagine living in a world where they don't even have fast food? No? Neither can I. And I don't want to. But there are people who live like that, and we should know about them. Why? Because it's important to, you know, know about other people and how they live. This campaign is the perfect opportunity. We meet these people who have to work 25 hours a day, have no indoor plumbing or running water, whose homes consist of three walls (two of which are made mostly from dung- and those are the sturdy walls), and watch their eyes light up as they try for the first time the delicious fast food that you and I take for granted. (If you're reading this America, anyway.)

Of course, as this article points out, there are some jerks who don't like the campaign.

"It's outrageous," Sharon Akabas of the Institute of Human Nutrition at Columbia University, told the New York Daily News. "What's next? Are we going to start taking guns out to some of these remote places and ask them which one they like better?"

If you can equate food with weapons, then there is no reasoning with you. You are a total jerk.

Marilyn Borchardt, development director for Food First, called the campaign insensitive.
"The ad's not even acknowledging that there's even hunger in any of these places," she told the Daily News.

The ad is feeding hungry people, meaning that you are the insensitive one, you jerk.

Brian Morrissey, writing on, likens the campaign to colonialism and declares it "embarrassing and emblematic of how ignorant Americans still seem to the rest of the world."

The ignorant ones are those who don't even know what a Whopper is! In this case, Americans are educating the rest of the world.

"It doesn't get much more offensive than this," noted The Inquisitor blog. "If visiting poor people in remote locations, some who would be at best surviving on below poverty levels and throwing a burger in their faces isn't bad enough, it gets better, because they also ask the Whopper Virgins to compare the taste of the Whopper to a McDonalds Big Mac as well.
"It's hard to place exactly where this begins on the level of wrongness."

Which is the part you find so "wrong"? The part where hungry people are fed, or the part where their opinions are solicited? "Let them starve, and I don't care what they think," is basically what you're saying.

There is plenty to get worked up about, but feeding the hungry isn't one of them.

The only problem I have with the campaign is that it compares the Whopper with the Big Mac. I don't know anyone who likes the Big Mac better. But put the Whopper up against the McRib, or the McGriddle, and there's no contest. The gold goes to McDonald's, hands down.

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