‘Whopper virgins’ make inauspicious debut

Crispin Porter + Bogusky's much-anticipated "documentary" about the "Whopper virgins" debuted last night. It was pretty much as expected. Stacy Peralta has really made two commercials—let's face it, they're just commercials. One is the taste test. This has the native people brought to a semi-civilized location—i.e., somewhere within 15 minutes of fast-food restaurants—for your run-of-the-mill taste test. The video flashes up some select results. I say select because I hope the sample size was larger than about 20. (Surprisingly, the Whopper won in a landside.) Part two is what probably gets at the root of the criticism leveled at Burger King for the project. Peralta and crew trek out to these far-flung locales with a BK grill to cook for the locals. In my initial appraisal of the concept, I found it icky. I still find it depressing. This is a documentary about the making of a commercial that uses "exotic" foreigners as props to sell more trans-fat-laden heart-attack pucks. Judging from what I've read on blogs, Facebook and Twitter, the reaction is pretty mixed—probably exactly what Crispin and BK wanted. See Adweek critic Barbara Lippert's review here.

—Posted by Brian Morrissey