Well, this is one of the weirder marketing strategies we've come across lately. How many marketers go out of their way to compare their products to highly addictive narcotics?
Burger King in Russia is one. Russian TV stations have banned the airing of Burger King spot that positions the Whopper as a viable alternative to opiates.
In the spot, the Moscow Times notes the tagline is "The time of poppies is over!" The ad begins with a poppy flower -- do we need to point out here that heroin and opium are derived from the poppy -- being smashed by a falling Whopper. The voice-over then says: "This is a poppy. It was popular once, but now it's time has passed."
The Moscow Times also noted that this is a play on words. Poppy translated into Russian is "mak," a name the publication said has become synonymous with McDonald's.
Burger King Russia's website posted on Aug 12 that the ad was, as translated by Google, "banned from major Russian television channels. We have decided to publish it in the official YouTube channel of order so that everyone could see what you see on TV."
Burger King did not respond to a request for comment, though Burger King Russia's marketing director Ivan Shestov wrote in a company statement to the Moscow Times on Wednesday that the poppy is an analogy of a bad habit, and that the Whopper is an alternative to it.
August 15, 2013
Photo: YouTube/Burger King