Burger King's Impossible Whopper is a confusing sandwich, perfect for these confusing times. It's made from plants but tastes like flame-broiled beef. Confused yet?
The folks navigating Covid reality seem perplexed and bewildered by many facets of daily existence in a wryly funny 90-second film from David Madrid and MJZ director Juan Cabral.
Are they working from home or living at work? Why do they prefer dating-site profiles to going on actual dates? Why don't online master classes transform pupils into ... masters? Who says you can't wear pajamas and slippers all the time, even while riding the bus around town?
Funereal piano tones accentuate the mock-dark mood. Cabral's exquisitely framed shots—a perplexed young woman sitting alone in a laundromat, a violin poised on the too-green cushions of an oversized couch—form an intricate visual tableau leading to ... what, exactly?
It's a slow, intriguing, at times confusing build, devoid of branding until BK reveals its message near the end.
"These are confusing times," concludes oh-so-serious narrator Edward Robinson, "which is just about the right time to have the Burger King Impossible Whopper. The Whopper made without beef, that tastes just like ... a Whopper."
A plaintive keyboard flourish echoes as we gaze at a late-night mall parking lot. It's bathed in the glow from a single light tower, with a BK sign off to one side.
"We see different people struggling with contradictions—that's the theme of it all," attuned to humanity's grind in 2021, BK vice president of brand marketing Diego Suarez tells Muse.
Indeed, the approach is highly relatable, and Cabral's eye for ironic details and memorable imagery pays off. It's a fitting signoff for longtime CMO Fernando Machado, as the last major spot he led for BK. (It's so confusing he's not with the fast-feeder anymore, right?)
"We have tried to work with Juan in the past many times, but it never worked out for different reasons," says Suarez. "This time, his reaction was immediate, and he loved the script so much he jumped into it right away. Working with him is a privilege because you get a combo that is hard to find: a great director and an even greater creative director. We worked with him to decide on situations, lines and everything."
The work will air in the U.S., U.K., Germany, Brazil, Mexico, Chile and the Dominican Republic.
For more confusion, cue up these radio spots, also narrated by Robinson in delicious deadpan style:
BURGER KING "CONFUSING TIMES"
AGENCY: DAVID Madrid
Global CCO & Partner: Pancho Cassis
Global COO: Sylvia Panico
Executive Creative Director: Saulo Rocha, André Toledo
Creative Director: Fred Bosch, David Krueger
Copywriter: David Krueger, Guillermo Aliaga-Pueyrredón
Art Director: Pedro Sattin
Head of Production: Alejandro Falduti
Head of Account Management: Luiza Prata Carvalho
Group Account Director: Lucila Mengide, Stefane Rosa
CLIENT: Burger King
PRODUCTION COMPANY: MJZ
Director: Juan Cabral
President/Executive Producer: David Zander
Executive Producer: Emma Wilcockson
Producer: Natalia Mussolana
Director of Photography: Leandro Filloy
Production Designer: Sebastian Orgambide
Wardrobe Stylist: Sol Montalvo
First Assistant Director: Matias Boldt
Argentina Production Company: Labhouse
Labhouse Executive Producer: Flora Fernández Marengo
Editor: Emiliano Fardaus
Post Producer: Julieta Fernández Castagnino
Color Grade: Alejandro Armaleo
VFX Supervisor: Jonathan Monroig
MUSIC: Pickle Music NY
Creative Producer: Alexis Estiz
Composer: Alexis Estiz, Dario Calequi
Producer: Lupita Alvarez
Performer: Edward Robinson
SOUND MIX: Tres Sonidas