Viral Ad Campaign of the Week: Burger King’s #ProudWhopper campaign

Every celebration is an opportunity to create a viral video that supports the event or holiday itself, while helping expose your product and maybe a little bit about humanity. Burger King’s #ProudWhopper, or Proud Burger, viral video does just that in a way that is both disturbing and heart warming.

Viral Ad Campaign of the Week: Burger King’s #ProudWhopper campaign


The #ProudWhopper campaign has a pretty simple premise – they sell an ordinary Whopper inside a wrapper with a pride rainbow on it. This burger was sold at one Burger King restaurant only, this franchise was right on the San Francisco Pride Parade route.

The video, goes through the steps of people reacting to being asked if they want a Proud Whopper, their reactions to eating it and believing that it tastes different, and then revealing the secret inside the wrapper which says:

“We are all the same inside.”

The reactions to this simple change are priceless and show us quite clearly that our perceptions are what shape our reality. It was exactly the same Whopper, but a perceived changed had people talking about how it tasted different – but it was all in their heads.

Other aspects of the #ProudWhopper viral ad campaign

The ad has made huge waves in the LGBTQ movement with articles about the viral campaign going up all over the place. A notable article on Out.com offers insight from Burger King’s West Division marketing team lead, Kelly Gomez:

“We are always looking to engage our guests on a local level and be part of regionally relevant event. With one of our restaurants on the Pride Parade route, it was a natural fit to be involved and celebrate by giving something back to the community.”

#proudwhopper campaignThis is what the viral video was really about – it wasn’t a viral video at all. It was an attempt to give back to a small community, right at ground zero of their world, and all they did was film the reactions.

One final aspect is that this wasn’t a big tearjerker video from beginning to end – it was also funny. Said one employee: “Do you wanna go with me, or without meat? Because we can go both ways.” Whoever wrote that line deserves an award.

Problems with the #ProudWhopper viral ad campaign

The ad seems to have little support from other social media platforms. Perhaps that explains the relatively low 4 million views. It can be assumed that the ad was part of their new “Be Your Way” slogan, replacing the “Have it Your Way” slogan of old, but no mention is made of this being the case. There was no mention of the slogan in the video, only a hashtag in the video description.

All in all, I question how great an impact this had on brand message, and how much more it could have done with a few minor tweaks, and perhaps a slightly harder video marketing push.

The negative reaction from the angry right was prevalent on the YouTube page. A Twitter hashtag search for the #ProudWhopper hashtag brought up a lot of messages like this one:

Perhaps Twitter users are more open minded? Maybe people are more prone to keep nasty opinions to themselves on Twitter as opposed to YouTube’s notoriously hate-filled comments section? You may think that the biggest problem with this video is the brutal backlash from a small minority of hate filled people who are too confused to see the future, but I’m sure Burger King knew this would happen and did it anyway: truly courageous advertising.

by Ernest Thompson

Ernest is an online marketing user and abuser with a keen eye for the latest viral trends. His years of experience in the online marketing industry are presented here on Viral Tactics for you to learn from, and to offer you a chance to add your opinions.