Burger King Made a Halloween Sandwich That Literally Gives You Nightmares

The Nightmare King is formulated for uneasy dreams

Halloween has become one of Burger King's favorite holidays in recent years. 

In 2016, it dressed up one of its locations as the ghost of McDonald's. And last year it pulled off a frightfully good promotion called "Scary Clown Night," where it gave free Whoppers to people dressed as clowns on Halloween night. 

Here's the spooky Halloween stunt that agency David Miami dreamed up (perhaps literally) for 2018: a new sandwich called the Nightmare King that supposedly has been formulated specifically to give anyone who eats it nightmares. The green bun makes it look creepy, but it's the unusual mix of proteins—beef, chicken, cheese, bacon, mayonnaise and onions—that apparently can really disrupt your sleep patterns. 

They did a clinical study to see if the Nightmare King was successful in its nefarious goals. In partnership with Paramount Trials, Florida Sleep & Neuro Diagnostic Services Inc., and Goldforest Inc., they fed the sandwich to 100 people over 10 days, right before bedtime—and then hooked them up to medical equipment and watched them sleep. 

Here's how that went down: 

Burger King | Feed Your Nightmares

Being three and a half times as likely as usual to have a nightmare is a compelling stat, even if the science overall seems a little suspect here. 

"According to previous studies, 4 percent of the population experiences nightmares in any given night," said Dr. Jose Gabriel Medina, a somnologist and the study's lead doctor. "But after eating the Nightmare King, the data obtained from the study indicated that the incidence of nightmares increased by 3.5 times." 

That works out to 14 percent, so presumably 14 of the 100 test subjects had nightmares thanks to this unholy sandwich. 

The quotes from the press release are amusing. "Someone ... transformed into the figure of a snake," one of the study's subjects said about her dream. Another recalled "aliens attacking" the boat he was on. 

The Nightmare King will be available at participating Burger King restaurants for a limited time beginning Oct. 22 for $6.39. Postmates will offer the evil offering from Oct. 22-25 with free delivery when using promo code SCARYGOOD.

Agency: David/Miami 
Managing Director / Global COO: Paulo Fogaça
Executive Creative Director: Ricardo Casal
Executive Creative Director: Juan Javier Peña Plaza
Senior Art Director: Jean Zamprogno
Senior Copywriter: Fernando Pellizzaro
Art Director: Andy Tamayo
Copywriter: Nellie Santee
Copywriter: Alexander Allen
Creative Coordinator: Cristina Cornejo Ayala
Head of Global Production: Veronica Beach
Senior Producer: Carlos Torres
Producer: Kelly Allen
Associate Producer: Brenda Osorno
Senior Business Affairs Manager: Barbara Karalis
Head of Account Management: Carmen Rodriguez
Account Director: Stefane Rosa

Client: Burger King
Global Chief Marketing Officer: Fernando Machado
Head of Global Brand Marketing: Marcelo Pascoa
Sr. Brand Manager of Global Marketing: Rogelio Magaña

Clinical Study
Florida Sleep & Neuro Diagnostic Services, Inc.
Dr. Jose Gabriel Medina 
Gina Peralta 

Paramount Trials
Dr. Julian Mesa 
Gina Peralta  

Survey Research
Goldforest Inc. 

Photographer: Ale Burset
Post Production: Diego Speroni
Production House: F16 Producciones S.L.
Executive Producer: Marcela Moracci
Chief of Production: Isabel Fuertes

Kreative Kontent
Director: Fro Rojas
Executive Producer: Debbie Margolis Horwitz 
DP: Adolfo Ferro 
Production Manager: Gabby Crohn 

Food Shoot
Kevan Bean: Director
Sarah Colpitts: Producer
Nir Adar: Food Stylist

Cosmo Street Editorial
Editor: Jeff Grippe
Assistant Editor: Andrew Corrales
Producer: Kacie Gomez
EP: Yvette Cobarrubias

Radio + Audio: Beacon Street Studios
Mixer: Amber Tisue
Mix Assistant: Aaron Cornacchio
Senior Mix Producer: Kate Vadnais

JKR Design Studio

PR: Alison Brod Marketing + Communications
Senior Vice President: Brooke Scher Morgan
Director: Adrianna Lauricella

Tim Nudd
Tim Nudd was editor in chief of the Clio Awards and editor of Muse by Clio from 2018 to 2023.

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