Burger King Sells 'Proud Whopper' In San Francisco


AP Wire - Burger King celebrated gay pride with a message on its Whopper wrappers.

The fast-food chain posted a video online July 2 that shows scenes from a San Francisco location where it sold a "Proud Whopper." Customers were not told what is in the burger, which comes wrapped in rainbow paper. Once opened up, a message inside the wrapper states, "We are all the same inside."

The idea is that the Proud Whopper is no different from the regular Whopper, despite its colorful packaging.

The marketing effort is part of Burger King's push to connect with customers in a more meaningful way, particularly with the younger individuals fast-food chains are known for courting. As part of that push, Burger King recently said it was retiring its "Have It Your Way" slogan in favor of the more personal "Be Your Way" (Ad Age pointed out the phrase was "grammatically challenged").

Whether the new approach can help Burger King Worldwide Inc. boost sales remains to be seen. The company, based in Miami, was acquired and taken private by 3G Capital in 2010. The Brazilian private investment firm took the chain public again in 2012 in a deal that allowed it to retain a majority stake while more than recouping its investment.

3G has been trying to revitalize Burger King's image and menu ever since with mixed results in the U.S., where traditional fast-food chains have struggled amid competition from newer players such as Chipotle. Last year, Burger King's sales at established North American locations slipped 0.9 percent.

The chain says the "Proud Whopper" video was shot over the past weekend in San Francisco, near where the city held its 44th annual gay pride parade. Fernando Machado, who heads global brand management for Burger King, said in a phone interview the "Proud Whopper" will remain on the menu until Thursday.

A rough cut of the two-minute video shows confused customers asking about the Proud Whopper, trying to figure out what makes it different, then later grasping what is happening.

"I think this wrapper means we all have the same rights," a young child explains.

"A burger has never made me cry before," says a young woman.

Another young woman uses an expletive to explain that it's same stuff inside. The video also shows some negative reactions, including a man who says the chain will no longer have his business.

Burger King said the video was developed by the ad agency DAVID, and directed by Henry Alex Rubin, who also directed the film "Girl, Interrupted."

Other food companies have also recently shown support for gay individuals, including Oreo-cookie maker Mondelez International Inc., which featured a gay couple in an ad for Honey Maid graham crackers, and Coca-Cola Co., which featured a gay couple in its Super Bowl ad.


  • Latest News

Enter To Win

Enter contests to win great prizes like CDs, DVDs, concert tickets and more

Special Section: Pride Source Votes
Revealing Bigotry: Taking On Gary Glenn

In a Sept. 27 op-ed in the Detroit News, conservative Republican columnist Nolan Finley raised serious concerns about three Republican candidates running for the state house Nov. 4. Todd Courser of Lapeer, Cindy Gamrat of Plainwell and Gary Glenn of Midland -- all correctly identified by Finley as a "trio (who) seeks tea party tyranny." Nolan describes Glenn and Courser as "extremely anti-gay (who) would turn the Republican Party into a fundamentalist denomination of the Christian Church if given the chance." Finley warned that the trio's narrow views on the Legislature could cripple the government and its ability to work across the aisle to move the state forward. Their agenda also includes killing any expansion of the Elliot-Larsen act to include LGBT protections.

View More Pride Source Votes
This Week's Issue

Download or view this week's print issue today!