Burger King has been running an ad lately highlighting the company’s Impossible Burger. Personally, I find the commercial to be absurd.
The commercial starts with, "We fed beef lovers a Whopper with no beef." Then it proceeds to show a group of people in cowboy hats, jean jackets and flannel/plaid shirts (because clearly, that's how 'beef lovers' dress) eating in enjoyment and complimenting the product. The narrator of the commercial says, "Apparently they love plants too."
The commercial ends with a man in a cowboy hat swearing and saying he was a fool, insinuating that the plant-based product was better than the beef he would typically eat.
First off, I took this one to heart and as a cattle producer, I'm offended. You can't run an ad that stereotypes cattle producers as people who swear and live in flannel and jean jackets and still make most of your sales off traditional animal protein.
I'm not sure if any members of the Burger King marketing team have visited a cattle operation recently, but believe it or not, the hard-working folks that raise cattle don't all dress the same. Stereotypes like this have sadly given consumers removed from the farm an idea of what producers are like, be that good or bad.
Also, implying that the man was a fool for eating animal-based protein at the end of the commercial is an insult to any who raises livestock or still enjoys eating animal-based protein.
For the Impossible Whopper, the appeal is novelty and people are supposed to feel better about eating something that tastes good but doesn't have beef in it. However, according to the Burger King website, eggs are listed as an allergen in the product, so the Impossible Whopper may contain animal products.
It is my understanding that eggs are listed due to the mayonnaise on the sandwich.
Not to mention, the commercial does not say how the plants are produced. Not that it bothers me, but if they’re really trying to appeal to people why not advertise a non-GMO based Impossible Burger?
I'm not convinced that an Impossible Burger is healthier than a traditional burger, but if they're trying to reach those that don't believe in animal agriculture, you’d think they would sell the sandwich without mayo and advertise that it meets the needs of vegans.
I'm not saying that there isn't a place in the world for plant-based proteins, but I believe there will always be a need for traditional animal protein and Burger King should tread lightly when stereotyping those producers.