October is National Bullying Prevention Month and Burger King has crowned itself an advocate against bullying with its new public service announcement.
Burger King partnered with No Bully to bring a three-minute “Bullying Jr.” PSA to amplify awareness for the need to prevent bullying. The video depicts a high school student bullied by his friends (all actors) and a Burger King employee (an actor) bullying a Whopper Jr. by punching it so it is destroyed. It takes place inside an actual Burger King location with real customers. In the end, 95 percent of customers who received a destroyed, “bullied” burger reported it while only 12 percent of customers stood up for the student being bullied. The ad shows two specific times when a customer interacted with the students, asking the bullied student if he was okay and telling the others to leave him alone.
The moment that stood out to me occurred when one of the customers brought their “bullied” Whopper Jr. to the employee to complain and the employee asked him, “Had you seen me bullying this burger, would you have stood up and said something?” and the customer replied “Yes,” and the employee said, “Hmm, that’s good to know.”
Burger King used the PSA to focus attention on the 30 percent of students worldwide who are bullied each year.
The ad closes with the line, “No Jr. deserves to be bullied,” a play on words referring to the Whopper Jr. as well as the student. I believe that Burger King has been successful in placing itself in the conversation as a brand while bringing awareness to the problem. The ad uses product placement with the burger so that it does not come off as a cheap way to make a profit but instead a means to bring attention to a cause that matters — preventing bullying.
Do you think Burger King was successful?