Burger King parodies AI in campaign created by 'agency of robots'
- Burger King debuted a new advertising campaign that it purports was fully created by artificial intelligence and an initiative called Project: AOR, that will see the brand transition from a traditional agency of record to an “agency of robots,” a sincere-sounding news release announced. It's only upon viewing the campaign ads that the joke becomes clear with the voice-over uttering nonsense like “Burger King logo’s chicken is the new potato.”
- A handful of humorous campaign videos are already up on YouTube and Burger King said the campaign will premiere on national TV on Oct. 1.
- The effort was created with agency David Miami, which has worked with Burger King on a number of innovative campaigns. In other words, the creative process was driven by humans even though the press release purports that the fast-food brand trained an artificial neural network to analyze thousands of fast-food commercials and industry research to create hundreds of unique commercials.
This is the latest in a line of marketing stunts from Burger King and David Miami that poke fun at some broadly accepted assumptions as a way to breakthrough in a cluttered media landscape. The ads grab attention via nonsensical voice-overs with the goal of delivering laughs as well as getting people talking about the brand and sharing the videos online.
AI's role in non-creative areas of marketing appears to clearly understood by the industry. Among B2B marketers, 53% believe AI will boost how effective marketing is in driving revenue, according to a survey by EverString and Heinz Marketing. The survey found that marketers were eyeing AI to provide more detailed analyses of marketing campaigns, identify trends and offer more personalization and customization. However, when it comes to producing breakthrough imagery or attention-grabbing copy, the partnership is more uneasy, something that is evident in Burger King's new campaign and was also on display at this year's Cannes Lions festival.
While Burger King's focus in this campaign is AI and its growing role in automating marketing's creative process — and the accompanying fear of robots replacing humans — the chain and David Miami have put technology in their cross-hairs before. The brand’s “Google Home of the Whopper” commercials, which took a top prize at Cannes Lions in 2017, triggered the Google Assistant on Home devices to read the Wikipedia entry for Burger King’s signature Whopper menu item. In January, Burger King released “Whopper Neutrality,” a video where the brand re-enacted scenarios demonstrating what the repeal of Net Neutrality could mean.