A Burger King in San Francisco offered a special “Proud Whopper” wrapped in the rainbow colors of the gay-rights movement during the 44th Annual Pride Parade on Sunday, June 29. Inside, customers found a regular Whopper burger with the message “We are all the same inside” inscribed on the wrapper’s interior.
The $4.29 burger will be available through Thursday, July 3 at a BK restaurant at 1200 Market St. in San Francisco. All proceeds from the Proud Whopper sandwich sales will go to the chain’s Burger King McLamore Foundation (named for founder Jim McLamore), designated for scholarships benefiting LGBT college-bound high school seniors graduating in spring 2015.
In an interview, Burger King SVP-Global Brand Management Fernando Machado acknowledged that some BK customers might not like the Proud Whopper initiative. “But I am more excited that we are making this statement in support of self-expression,” he said. “I would like to believe we are uniting people behind this message that I hope all can support.
Burger King replaced their 40-year-old slogan “Have It Your Way” in May with “Be Your Way.” Machado says it’s all about making a connection with customers. “We really want to be more than burgers, fries and shakes,” he says, “and occupy a space that’s more meaningful to people.”
“This is exactly what ‘Be Your Way’ means,” Machado added. “When we first introduced it, I said that it expressed how Burger King welcomes everyone to our stores. [The Proud Whopper] elevates that message and makes it more meaningful, I believe.”
One gay rights activist says Burger King is doing the right thing. “Whenever a company comes out in support of gay people, it makes a difference,” says Jordan Bach, a consultant to corporations on gay rights issues and a GLAAD media partner. “But when it’s done right—when it’s done with a campaign that shows the company understands diversity and really believes in the profound acceptance of other people—that sort of marketing can change minds and hearts at the deepest level.”
For the moment, Burger King has no plans on moving the promotion to a broader audience, but Machado says, “we may consider something even bigger later on.”
Burger King released a two-minute video about the Proud Whopper on its YouTube channel.
Burger King Proud Whopper
Just for the San Francisco Gay Pride 2014, Burger King introduced a new burger: the Proud Whopper. What made this burger different? People were surprised, delighted and even a little shocked to find out. Watch the Proud Whopper unwrap for the big reveal.
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