Burger King Sings About Making a Whopper From Cows That Fart Less

Michel Gondry music video explains new cow diet

If Burger King's Moldy Whopper didn't make your mouth water, maybe its Reduced Methane Emissions Beef Whopper will whet your appetite.

Today, the fast feeder introduces the sandwich in select shops nationwide. It's made from the meat of cows that emit less methane from their bovine orifices thanks to a diet rich in lemongrass, which BK has developed with scientists in an effort to curb greenhouse gases.

Hungry yet?

BK, creative shop We Believers and Partisan Pictures director Michel Gondry got "the biggest little star in country music," 11-year-old Mason Ramsey—who's like a pint-size Tim Blake Nelson—to explain the initiative in a silly music video.

Eat your heart out, Darius Rucker!

Burger King | Cows Menu

"When cows fart and burp and splatter,
well it ain't no laughing matter—
they're releasing methane every time they do.
And that methane from their rear
goes up to the atmosphere
and pollutes our planet, warming me and you!
Yes! That methane that they pass
is a greenhouse gas
that'll trap the sun's heat n' change our climate, too!"

Wooly farts! Gas masks! Lemongrass hats! Gondry, the French filmmaker (Green Hornet, Mood Indigo) who's an Oscar winner for co-writing Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, stinks it up with cheeky conviction!

"A big part of our job is to work on ideas that have the potential to change the world, helping companies to be more transparent, to look within and take action to improve people's lives. By doing that, we can turn consumers into believers of your brand," says Gustavo Lauria, co-founder and creative chief at We Believers, whose previous efforts have included making "edible" six-pack rings for SaltWater Brewery that don't harm sea life if they end up in the ocean.

Of the BK creative, Lauria says: "A musical directed by Michel with his very own style to tell stories full of craft, colors and visual metaphors really helped us to explain something complicated in a simple way."

As for Ramsey's participation, "We wanted to have a differentiated voice, a voice that represented the new generations coming, a voice that was innocent to help tell us this story," says BK global chief marketer Fernando Machado. "So, when Manson's name came to the table, we all gravitated towards it."

Choosing Gondry to direct was also a no-brainer, Machado adds.

"From the first moment we saw the idea of the film, we automatically gravitated towards Gondry," he says. "We wanted the craft to be extraordinary. We thought the execution would work best if we had little to zero post-production. And that's why Gondry was at the top of our list when it comes to directors. Fortunately, he felt in love with the idea and helped us take it to the next level."

The director personally designed the film's cow and the look of the set. Music-video veteran Mandy Moore choreographed the dance moooves.

Sustainability ran through many aspects of the shoot, which took place pre-pandemic. The team used eco-friendly foam and biodegradable inks on parts of the set, and even the catering silverware was made from avocado pits.

According to UN studies, livestock accounts for nearly 15 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions. So, BK worked with scientists to develop a modified feed formula, and says the new diet led to a 33 percent reduction in cows' methane excretions.

Various BK restaurants in Miami, New York, Austin, Portland, Ore., and Los Angeles will offer Reduced Methane Whoppers while supplies last.

"Our hope is that people understand that sustainability is a journey that requires cooperation," says Machado. "And that in this specific case, Burger King found a potential solution to a real problem. Thus, the brand is sharing all the findings, all the research, everything with the world so that we can work together to gain scale and create a real positive impact to the environment."

Put another way…

"To change their emissions,
Burger King went on a mission
testing diets that would help reduce their farts,
That's a start!
And by now there ain't no question
that it's helping cows' digestion
adding lemongrass, so they can play their part.
 
Reducing methaaaaaane… methaaaaaane
We can reduce emissions by more than a third!

Got the cow-kids singing for a better woooooorld!"

CREDITS

Client: Burger King
Product: BK Cows' Menu
Títle: BK Cows' Menu Music Video
Media: TV and Digital Platforms
On Air Date: July 14, 2020
Length: 2 minutes

Agency: We Believers.
City / Country: New York / USA.
Chief Creative Officer: Gustavo Lauria 
Group Creative Director: Santiago Luna Lupo
Head of Art: Diego Grandi
Copywriter: Gustavo Lauria, Santiago Luna Lupo
Art Director: Diego Grandi
Lyrics: Gustavo Lauria, Steve Mudd
Head of Production: Marcia Jaes
Head of Planning: Marco Vega
Head of Client Services: Jose Quijano
Account Supervisor: Juan Cano
Creative Coordinator: Rocio Fernandez Sasso

Production Company: Partizan Pictures
Director: Michel Gondry
Director of Photography: Shawn Kim
Managing Director |Executive producer: Lisa Tauscher
Head of Production: Kelly Martin
Producer: Raffi Adlan
Production Designer: Maxwell Orgell
1st AD: Andy Coffing 
Choreographer: Mandy Moore

Editorial: Final Cut LA
Editor: Jeff Buchannan
2nd Editor: Diego Panich

Post Production: The Mill LA
Creative Director / VFX Supervisor: Glyn Tebbutt
Senior VFX Producer: Erin Hicke

Music & Music Publisher: Pickle Music NY
Composer: Alexis Estiz
Lyrics: Gustavo Lauria, Steve Mudd
Sound Designer: Jacob Bloomfield-Mirsrach, Biijan Sharifi, Dario Calcequi
Executive Producer: Alexis Estiz
Producer: Lia Mitchell, Courtney Jenkins
Performer: Mason Ramsey

Research Team:
PhD. Octavio A. Castelán-Ortega
PhD. Ermias Kebreab

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David Gianatasio
David Gianatasio is senior editor at Clio Awards.

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