Russian Burger King ad with tattoos, unicorns goes viral


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And you thought the King was weird. One of Burger King’s Russian ads -– featuring tattoo artists, burger turntables, a marriage proposal and, yes, unicorns –- has gone viral.

The fast-food chain’s recent spots in the U.S. have been pretty tame, with luscious, artistic images of glistening produce and juicy meats supplanting the creepy King mascot.


Burger King, along with competitors such as McDonalds, has strongly emphasized the quality and freshness of its ingredients (thicker, less salty fries, anyone?) to try to lure increasingly health-conscious customers stateside.

Apparently, Burger King’s Russian consumer base wants something different. Like, burning-shoes-and-tutus-different, all over a thumping back beat. The ad, clocking in at a whopping 1 minute and 30 seconds or so, also features choreographed hipster dancers, a family with bejeweled grills on their teeth and mid-air knife skills.

There’s a man who uses a giant meat patty as a mask and a shamanistic healer who hides a burger under his turban. Some of the food images from the U.S. make cameos –- but they’re by far the dullest segments of the Russian ad.

And it’s neither the first nor last gimmicky foreign fast-food publicity play. The Japanese branch of Domino’s recently said it would open the first pizza chain on the moon.

But Burger King is part of a wider effort by U.S. quick service restaurant companies -- such as KFC owner Yum Brands -- to expand abroad. Establishing new international sales bases is key to continued growth, many said, especially as finicky American customers drift to fast casual competitors such as Panera Bread Co. and Chipotle Mexican Grill.



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-- Tiffany Hsu