Burger King: “Mouldy” - 30s
Other advertising pundits have understandably used the label 'bold' to describe this extraordinary gambit from Burger King. It's certainly that. It's also going to achieve one of its key aims… everyone is going to be talking about it.
But… and this is as big a 'but' as can be imagined, its makers appear to have completely forgotten about the importance of positive association.
It's when the advertising industry focuses its attention on pleasing itself with its own cleverness that it's most likely to lose sight of what works for the general public. And this is a casebook study of this phenomenon. In a bid for online attention and the praise of ovine juries, Burger King have served the public an image of a rotting and fetid monstrosity without properly recognising the danger that that's the only thing that will be remembered by anyone who doesn't consider it part of their job to analyse advertising.
That's not to say that the aforementioned jurors, ever eager to demonstrate their grasp of the zeitgeist, will not reward Burger King for their foolhardy boldness… there's every possibility that they will, thus vindicating those in the industry who measure their success by counting their gongs rather than examining the improvement in their clients' bottom line.
Still – on the plus side – perhaps everyone who complains about the absence of risk-taking in modern advertising will pipe down for a little while.