A bullied Whopper Jr.? Burger King uses social experiment in eye-opening campaign

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SAN FRANCISCO – NOVEMBER 01: A sign stands outside a Burger King restaurant November 1, 2006 in San Francisco, California. Burger King Holdings Inc. posted a 82 percent surge in its first-quarter earnings for the quarter ended Sept. 30. Total profit was $40 million, or 30 cents per share, up from $22 million, or 19 […]

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MIAMI – Scrawny. Short. Ugly. Fat. Weird.

Those are some of the words heard by almost one third of children each year – that's the number of school children worldwide who experience bullying, according to NoBully.org.

Burger King is speaking up against bullying during National Bullying Prevention Month with an eye-opening campaign called “Bullying Junior.”

The spot shows an experiment that took place in a Los Angeles-area Burger King restaurant.

First, a high school junior is bullied by friends (all actors), and then a Whopper Jr. sandwich is bullied – punched, smashed, destroyed and then served by a staffer (also an actor).

The point of the experiment was to see if more people would report the bullies picking on the boy, or on the Whopper Jr.

The numbers prove a point despite a seemingly goofy premise – 95 percent of the real-life customers who received a bullied Whopper Jr., reported the sandwich was badly roughed-up.

However, only 12 percent said something about the high school junior who was being noticeably bullied right in front of customers’ faces.

“We know that bullying takes on many forms, physical, verbal, relational and online. But the first step to putting an end to bullying is to take a stand against it,” saidNo Bully CEO and Founder Nicholas Carlisle.  “Our partnership with the Burger King brand is an example of how brands can bring positive awareness to important issues. You have to start somewhere and they chose to start within.”

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