Moldy Whopper breaks research records for disgust – but shows a strong short-term spike
Bold and thrilling or misguided and minging? Burger King’s Moldy Whopper has got the industry engaged in a lively debate and there appears to be no consensus about the ad.
Research company System1 have decided to put the campaign to the test, using their Ad Ratings system. The time-lapse film scored one out for five – the star rating is used to predict the long-term potential for brand growth – and the audience disgust reactions were among the most extreme the team have seen since 2012.
It’s not all bad news, though. The campaign has succeeded in getting people talking and the ad scored highly in ‘Fluency Trace’, a metric that shows brand recognition. System1’s analysis finds that the campaign has had a relatively strong short-term surge, scoring a 1.59 ‘spike’ (in comparison, a spike of 1.9 would be considered extremely good and is extremely rare).
The research output in the top right corner shows the second-by-second emotional response. The dark orange segment indicates 'disgust'.
“The Burger King Mouldy Whopper ad has created the most amount of disgust we have seen in an advert since 2012 and, unsurprisingly, resulted in a poor one star rating for long-term brand building. However, as a short-term stunt it clearly worked in getting everyone talking and people are in no doubt who was behind this,” says Jon Evans, CMO at System1.