For nearly twenty-four hours, comedian Billy Eichner of “Billy on the Street” fame has been accusing Burger King of ripping him off.
While we didn’t think he was a particularly good fit for the last season of Parks and Recreation, he has won the attention of pretty much everyone in media today. The “controversy” received coverage on TODAY, Time, Gawker, Variety, etc., and Mashable even made its own “did BK rip off BE?” video.
Here’s the ad:
…and a clip of Eichner asking the public for its take on Miley Cyrus after the jump.
For reference: while no agency has stepped forward to claim credit for the BK spot above, the client left Mother and signed WPP’s David as its lead global agency less than six months ago after assigning North American digital duties to Code and Theory back in January. (David subsequently earned attention in July for its first official BK spot, in which the client’s sandwiches played gay to celebrate San Francisco’s 2014 Pride Parade.)
On the above debate: yes, the actor in the spot is tall, white and nervous just like Eichner. He’s a bit louder and more jittery than your average “man on the street.”
At the same time, he’s fairly mild-mannered; if the ad was intended to be a “Billy on the Street” ripoff, someone toned it down considerably. And the “correspondent asks questions of unsuspecting pedestrians” idea isn’t new to the ad world. While we’re on the “originality of concept” topic, we’ve never heard Eichner mention Steve Allen, either.
If the actor in question didn’t look so much like him, we’d say nothing to see here.
Expect a corporate statement by EOD tomorrow.