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Analysis of Burger King Advertisement "Bullying Jr"

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Burger King is an American fast food chain founded in 1953. As of today, it is considered as one of the largest companies in the world with more than 17,000 restaurants.

During the National Bullying Prevention Month of 2017, Burger King has decided to stand against one of the most practiced and aggressive acts in the world, bullying. Burger King created a three minutes’ advertisement video “Bullying Jr.” posted on social media, that took place in one of the company’s food stores with hidden cameras, recording from an angle a young student getting bullied by his friends, and a staff member bullying one of the famous burgers the company produces, the Whooper Jr, from another angle. The aim of the video is to see how many people are going to speak up against the bullied child compared to how many are going to report the bullied burger. While Burger King succeeded in informing the public about bullying with almost one million views on YouTube, the video also served as a way to promote the company, and especially to convince people to buy the “Whooper Jr”.

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Burger King teams up with No Bully, a non profit organization which goal is to eradicate bullying from school, and makes a fair mix of students with different ages and ethnicities, to make the video more credible and convince the audience that they are well placed to treat such a big issue.

Burger King also relies on many dramatic sequences that’s aim is to appeal the viewers’ feelings to stand against bullying. One can see several kids who experienced bullying talking about the terrible words they were called, “Fat”, “Weird”, “Ugly”, “Short”, “Scrawny”, “Chubby” … and children terrified who would not stand against it because they consider themselves as targets and feel lucky not to suffer from it. This kind of acts can have terrible effects on children’s mental and health issues like depression, anxiety, and health complaints.

Also, you can see how a group of students were harassing that kid who just wanted to enjoy his meal by asking him “Do you have any friends?”, “What are you even doing here?” without any intervention from the people sitting around, and you can read a message “We bullied the Whooper Jr. and a High School Jr. to see which one received more complaints” that compares the importance of a kid to a burger’s. The results were terrible as Burger King reported that 95% of customers reported the bullied burger, while only 12% of customers stood up to the High School Jr. being bullied. As sad as it is, the truth is that people nowadays care more about a bullied burger than a bullied student.

The statistics shown in the video are mainly used to convince the viewer logically to speak up against bullying. The stat “30% of students worldwide are bullied each year” is taken from one of Burger King’s partners in this video. While this stat may not be 100% accurate as most of the students have never taken any survey regarding bullying, but it’s an effective way to call people for action.

Burger King is indeed, through this video, raising a company against bullying, but one must not forger that it’s still a business. Every action made by the company has as goal to increase its sales. On one hand, Burger King is trying to make its image better in the eye of the public, and on the other hand, Burger King is promoting its burger “Whooper Jr”, by presenting its best self in front of the camera: perfectly stacked, very green lettuce, and beautiful red tomatoes.

One can also remark the presence of the Burger King logo everywhere in the video, and the location was not chosen haphazardly as it’s happening in one of the biggest cities in the U.S, Los Angeles, where Burger King is facing a big competition.

There should not be in any way an equivalency between a human being and a burger, but this advertisement shows a really sad truth about the world where we are living, a world where people don’t realize that the real happiness comes from the services to others and built relationships. One thing that viewers may have wished to see in this video would be an interview with people who failed to interact with the bullying, to explain their mentality and make similar people, who feel fears towards speaking up against terrible acts, change their opinion.

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