What is the first thing that you think about when “Burger King” comes to mind? The food? The smells? The Burger King mascot himself? For me, the name brings me back to my childhood. I grew up in a military family and for some reason there are always Burger Kings on military bases. Not sure why, but that is not the point. My mom did not really like fast food, but we could get her to go to Burger King every once and a while with us. Coke freezes and hot French fries were my favorite combination because it was hot and cold all at once. (Don’t judge me for my choices.) However, as I got older I looked at the Burger Kind brand a little differently. The restaurants seemed to be run down and it did not have the same appeal that it once did when I was a kid. Burger King did not stand out like it used to for me, that is until a few nights ago when I saw their new campaign.
Burger King has partnered with No Bully for National Bullying Prevention Month to help shed light on the issues that students face when it comes to bullying and cyberbullying. On October 17, 2017, Burger King released a video called “Bullying Jr.” They set up shop in a Burger King restaurant and compared bullying on two juniors: a high school junior and a Whopper Jr. They placed cameras all around the restaurant to capture the reactions of unsuspecting customers. In the middle of the Burger King there was a high schooler being bullied by some classmates. They were throwing food on him, pouring water on his food, making jokes about him, etc. On the other side of the store in the kitchen, an employee was “bullying” Whopper Jr. burgers that people ordered by punching them to make them look, well gross. They were then wrapped and placed on trays for customers.
The purpose of this was to see who would report or stop the bullying that was happening. Let’s see what happened:
Clearly, we can see a problem with these numbers. People had no problem helping themselves or complaining that their meal was beaten up, but they did have a problem standing up for an actual person. One of the craziest parts was when the employee asked a customer “Had you seen me bullying this burger, would you have stood up and said something?” and the man replied “yeah!”. So, you would have said something for an inanimate object but not a kid? I love food as much as the next person, but that was insane to me. The people that did stand up for the high school junior were so kind. I wanted to give them all a hug.
This experiment was extremely eye opening and sends a message to all of us to do better. Do not let the person right in front of you get bullied without stopping it, saying something, or telling someone.
This campaign made me think about Burger King in a completely different way. I was no longer focused on the restaurant details, but more on the brand itself. It made me proud in a weird way. A positive message sent by a fast food chain is unexpected, yet incredibly impactful. No Bully founder, Nicholas Carlisle, said “Our partnership with Burger King is an example of how brands can bring positive awareness to important issues. You have to start somewhere, and they chose to start within.” Not only are they providing an incredibly awesome message, they are helping their brand too. The video has over 1.1 million views on YouTube and has received incredible responses from social media as well. That is where I first saw the video myself. This is a prime example of how social media can be used in positive ways and still create attention for a brand. I am absolutely in love with this whole thing and I totally want to go to a Burger King now. Coke freeze and fries anyone?
To learn more about No Bully, visit their website here: https://nobully.org/