It's been years since Burger King's U.S. advertising was truly weird. You have to go back to the Crispin Porter + Bogusky stuff from the mid-2000s—in particular, the deeply troubling "Eat Like Snake" ad from 2006.
Colenso BBDO, however, is keeping BK ads weird for the New Zealand market. Check out the three spots below from director Nick Ball, featuring the most unlikely BK patrons ever—Sir Roger Poppincock and Baron von Cravat, along with an elderly gent on oxygen and his young, pissed-off Russian bride.
Reaction, it's fair to say, has been mixed.
"Hey Burger King, just have to say I think your latest TV ads are dreadful," one Facebook commenter writes. "So much for a tasteful and family orientated pitch. Do you really think that people would find that funny? Old men with some young girl saying when are you going to die, apart from the obvious stereotypes, ageism and sexism, what about the cultural offense you cause by assuming that women from Russia only marry older men? Not impressed." (BK replied: "We are sorry you're not loving our ads. Thank you for taking the time to let us know your thoughts, we appreciate all feedback."
The chain also got some heat for advertising its lamb burger with a billboard that said: "Cute, cuddly & now delicious." In response to that, another Facebook commenter wrote: "I would like to complain on behalf of vegetarians and vegans about the morally and ethically offensive nature of the 'Cute, cuddly & now delicious' lamb burger billboard in Sandringham. Marketing should have been more considerate."
"Our advertising isn't intended to offend, just to get noticed," the marketer replied. "We hope that there was sufficient humour in this billboard to demonstrate our position and are sorry that this campaign upset you."