Burger King trolls McDonald’s while nodding to mental health issues in new campaign

3 May 2019

Burger King: Real Meal campaign

One of the joys of a big brand rivalry must be the chance every now and again to get one over on your nemesis through a catty campaign – or to try to at least. This week Burger King has stepped up to the plate, waving a red rag to its biggest foe McDonald’s with the launch of five “Real Meal” boxes, a cheeky rip of McDonald’s famous Happy Meal. Including Pissed, Blue, Salty Meal, YAAAS and DGAF (that’s “don’t give a fuck” to save you the Urban Dictionary trip), the new boxes allow customers to order a Whopper based on their mood, alluding to the fact that many people ordering a “Happy” Meal are far from it.

“With the pervasive nature of social media, there is so much pressure to appear happy and perfect,” a release from the brand reads. “With Real Meals, the Burger King brand celebrates being yourself and feeling however you want to feel.”

Each mood has been allotted a different colourway and features a graphic representation of a mouth to match each emotion. Alongside the new boxes, Burger King has launched a film, which covers the Have It Your Way track from the 1970s Burger King commercials but with lyrics swapped out for tales of emotional struggle. “It’s a modernised take on the iconic track that abandons the shiny and happy and instead follows individuals staying true to themselves,” the statement reads. “The chorus of Have It Your Way is swapped out with something a bit more revealing and authentic: Feel Your Way.

The campaign is another example of unconventional marketing from the burger franchise, following its pretty weird Super Bowl ad, which featured footage of Andy Warhol chowing down on a whopper.

Whether you see the Real Meals campaign as a valuable opportunity to discuss an important issue or the co-option of Mental Health Awareness Month for commercial ends, the US-based launch will at least have some positive effects, given the accompanying announcement of a partnership with Mental Health America to raise awareness of its work.

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About the Author

Laura Snoad

Laura is a London-based arts journalist who has been working for It’s Nice That on a freelance basis since 2016.

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