Burger King's first Super Bowl commercial in over a decade kicked off a Whopper-centric campaign for the fast-food chain. "America's Favorite" via Crispin Porter & Bogusky is an over-the-top version of 1930s musicals, with “Whopperettes” singing and dancing to the “Have it Your Way” jingle and an appearance by the deliberately creepy King mascot. It went up against Taco Bell's significantly less over-the-top "Crunchwrap" in the same game.
"The latest in the storied genre of overproduced, tongue-in-cheek floor-show production numbers: The Whopperettes, dancers dressed as hamburger ingredients," Ad Age ad reviewer Bob Garfield wrote in 2006 (see also E-Trade's "Monkey Musical" from 2002). "The costumes are magnificent and hilarious. (The tomato could be in a couture collection. The beef patty couldn't.) But the payoff comes when the creepy king pulls a cannon lanyard to unleash sandwich assembly. It's vivid, we'll say that."
TV was just one way viewers were able to see the ad. Sprint wireless subscribers were also able to watch a longer version of the spot that included outtakes and behind-the-scenes footage.
But neither Burger King nor McDonald's did much with the Super Bowl stage in the years that followed, leaving Taco Bell free to frequently represent the restaurant category by itself. Burger King stayed away, while McDonald's dipped in to promote Ronald McDonald House Charities in 2007 ("First Step") and to help evolve its "Lovin' It" positioning in 2015 ("Pay With Lovin'").
Earlier Super Bowl work by Burger King included the adventures of a Whopper-loving nerd in 1986 ("Find Herb"), the introduction of a bang-for-your-buck in 1995 ("Used Cars") and a convincing pre-fame Elisabeth Shue in 1993 ("Ultimate Weapon").
Director: Bryan Buckley, whose many other Super Bowl ads include TurboTax's "Love Hurts," Best Buy's "Ozzy vs. Bieber," FedEx's "Desert Island" and CareerBuilder.com's "Monkeys." Production company: Hungry Man.
Executive creative director: Andrew Keller. Executive producer: Tom Rossano, Alex Mehedff, Stephen Orent. Copywriter: Bob Cianfrone, Evan Fry. Art directors: Mark Taylor, John Parker. Editorial: Bug Editorial.Send credit info to SuperBowlAdArchive@adage.com.