Burger King takes on mental health with worst marketing campaign ever
A young man wakes up feeling sad. A young lady arrives at her locker to see the word SKANK scratched into it. A young lady leaves her job forever and declares that her boss is a creep. A young man watches television and realizes he will never move out of his parents’ home. A young man’s Tinder date doesn’t show up. A young mom tells the world to “suck it” because she feels judged for having a baby.
These are the faces of the new Burger King campaign, #FeelYourWay. It’s meant to to raise mental health awareness, but it’s more likely to cause mental health issues.
You can watch the ad here at your own risk:
Now you can tackle your mental health problems by choosing between a “Real Meal”! You can have a Blue Meal, a YAAAS Meal, a Pissed Meal, a Salty Meal, or a DGAF (Don’t Give A F*ck) meal. It appears that this campaign is also a jab at the McDonald’s happy mean, so I guess that’s a bonus?
Is it really advisable to eat your feelings? The messages received from ad culture at large are so schizophrenic as to be incomprehensible. Consternation over eating disorders, mental health advocacy, individual representation, are thrown at us on every conceivable platform. Organic food movements, health care professionals dictating to us to not eat saturated fat, vegans moralizing over pretty much everything, and here’s Burger King letting us know that it really feels for us?
We all know what it feels like to eat Burger King. It feels pretty gross. The aftertaste of one bite is enough to make us hate ourselves, and our mouths, for putting ourselves through it. We don’t need fast food companies encouraging us to entertain and indulge our melancholy with food that we know, for sure, hurts our bodies. It’s an insidious ad campaign because it appeals to our need to be recognized and validated.
The ad campaign is an insult to people who are legitimately struggling with mental health. Literally nobody is telling anyone to not feel the feelings expressed in the commercial. The notion that these are somehow taboo feelings or that these feelings are not accepted in our society is a product of the victimhood mentality that is so pervasive in our culture right now. You know the mentality: the one that favours feelings over facts and tells you that you are #brave for tweeting that you had a shitty breakup.
Our culture is so over the top with “feelings” validation that it’s reached a point where it’s hard to comprehend that there is an objective reality beyond one’s own feelings. The fact that advertising has become integrated into nearly every aspect of our lives does not give it more validation. This campaign is straight-up virtue signalling, and it illustrates just how far down the social justice rabbit hole we have fallen. Sorry, but you aren’t oppressed because your Tinder date ghosted you or you have student loan debt or your boss was a jerk.
Mental health challenges should not be trivialized, but that is exactly what this commercial does. These daily struggles that we all must go through are the baselines of life. There is no perfection that will open a door to the time when it’s easy to eat well and behave as your best self or convince the assholes in your life to get their shit together and be kind. The way we behave in our worst moments is how we are defined.
Despite what Burger King is telling you, eating based on mood is not an advisable practice. Those of us who find solace in food don’t need more encouragement to find more solace in even more food. Besides, it’s a better option to go find an all day breakfast, a nice curry, or some decent f*cking pasta.
The truth of the matter is, going to Burger King to solve your mental health problems is not a smart thing to do. Whether you choose the Blue Meal, the YAAAS Meal, the Pissed Meal, the Salty Meal, or the DGAF meal, they’re all the same. It’s just a burger with fries and a soda. If anything, it will make you feel worse.