Miami--(BUSINESS WIRE)--While most are playing it safe, Burger King Corp. (NYSE:BKC) has completed a bold and unprecedented mission: putting the iconic WHOPPER(R) sandwich to the ultimate taste test without the benefit of brand recognition or marketing support of any kind. The daring quest for WHOPPER(R) "virgins," people who have never seen or heard of America's favorite burger, became the inspiration for the company's newest advertising campaign, which asks: "Will the taste of the popular flame-broiled WHOPPER(R) sandwich win over first-timers in remote areas of the world?"
A series of organic and revealing 15 and 30-second television advertising spots and an extended online documentary spotlight real WHOPPER(R) "virgins" tasting the sandwich for the first time and confirming that the famous flame-broiled burger lives up to its reputation.
"We know the WHOPPER(R) sandwich has a devoted following, but with this new campaign, we sought the purest proof that the flame-broiled WHOPPER(R) sandwich is a favorite," said Russ Klein, president, global marketing, strategy and innovation, Burger King Corp. "During a time when consumers are craving it most, honesty and transparency are the heart and soul of this campaign. By embarking on a voyage of this magnitude that held no guarantees and left us open to vulnerabilities, we took a leap of faith that our signature product would win people over at first bite."
The new campaign follows Burger King Corp.'s 2007 "WHOPPER(R) Freakout" social experiment which demonstrated that people don't want to imagine life without the WHOPPER(R). In "WHOPPER(R) Virgins," well-known documentary filmmaker Stacy Peralta and an independent third-party research firm, take that premise to the next level. They invited and recorded residents of remote communities in the mountains of Thailand, the hills of Romania and the icy tundra of Greenland to try both a WHOPPER(R) sandwich and a Big Mac(R) sandwich. The test revealed priceless reactions as the "virgins" tasted the flame-broiled goodness of a WHOPPER(R) sandwich for the first time.
Visitors to www.whoppervirgins.com can view the documentary to get a first-hand look at the "WHOPPER(R) Virgins" mission. Additional content will include behind-the-scenes footage, interviews from Peralta and the crew, and more.
"I was eager to sign on to this project when I realized the risk Burger King Corp. was taking to uncover the true nature of peoples' love for the WHOPPER(R) sandwich," said Stacy Peralta, award-winning director and producer of films such as "Dogtown" and "Made in America." "The footage that my crew and I were able to capture takes a revealing look at the naked truth behind the WHOPPER(R) sandwich's following."
"The people we encountered along the way were wonderful," said Brian Gies, vice president, marketing impact, Burger King Corp. "They were enthusiastic about sampling our product and even more eager to share their culture, including their own food, with the team conducting the tests."
In keeping with BKC's philanthropic philosophy to give back to the communities in which it lives and works, at the conclusion of each taste test, Burger King Corp. worked cooperatively with local authorities to make donations, tailored specifically to benefit each individual community that participated in the 'study' and make a lasting contribution in each region. The company donated educational supplies and children's toys in Thailand and Greenland that will benefit local schools and increase learning opportunities for children. In Romania, the company helped fund a restoration of a 17th century church, which will enhance one of the community's central gathering places.
The BURGER KING(R) system operates more than 11,600 restaurants in all 50 states and in 73 countries and U.S. territories worldwide. Approximately 90 percent of BURGER KING(R) restaurants are owned and operated by independent franchisees, many of them family-owned operations that have been in business for decades. In 2008, Fortune magazine ranked Burger King Corp. among America's 1,000 largest corporations and Ad Week named it one of the top three industry-changing advertisers within the last three decades.
Source: Burger King Corp.