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Burger King's new print ad is outrageously misleading (and I love it)

Burger King ad showing a close-up of a vegetable designed to resemble meat
(Image credit: Burger King)

One of the print best ads we saw in 2020 was Burger King's infamous 'mouldy burger' campaign, which saw the company show off the Whopper's 'natural' ingredients by depicting it riddled with spores. And this latest striking campaign is in a similar vein.

At first glance, you'd be forgiven for thinking you're staring at a macro close-up of some red meat. But no, those are peppers, beetroot and radicchio. Like all of the best print ads, this one is designed to make you double-take.

Burger King ad showing an extreme close up of a vegetable that resembles meat

So you're telling me that's not meat? (Image credit: Burger King)

"Sorry for the confusion, meat lovers," reads the tagline – and indeed, you wouldn't know that's veg you're looking at. From the deep red colour to those thin fibres, the whole thing looks disconcertingly, well, meaty.

Which is exactly the point. "Many times, guests can’t tell the difference between the traditional Whopper and the plant-based Whopper," André Toledo, executive creative director at David Madrid (opens in new tab), told Creative Review. "So we challenged a food photographer and a food stylist to shoot some vegetables in a way that would make them look like meat. The idea was to create ads that would make people ask themselves ‘Wait, is this meat or is this a plant?"

A post shared by BURGER KING® Deutschland (@burgerkingde) (opens in new tab)

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It's certainly a clever way of drawing attention to the (supposed) similarity in taste between the traditional meat Whopper and meatless alternative. And hey, the visual comparison is much more bearable than those insufferable 'meat alternative' names ('facon', 'not-dog', that sort of thing).

This is another smart print ad from Burger King – like the company's brilliant rebrand last year, it's both bold and original. Not that the burger pedallers always get it right, who can forget last year's disastrous International Women's Day tweet? If you're inspired to create an ad of your own, take a look at our guide on how to download Photoshop.

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Daniel Piper
Senior News Editor

Daniel Piper is Creative Bloq’s Senior News Editor. As the brand’s Apple authority, he covers all things Mac, iPhone, iPad and the rest. He also reports on the worlds of design, branding and tech. Daniel joined Future in 2020 (an eventful year, to say the least) after working in copywriting and digital marketing with brands including ITV, NBC, Channel 4 and more. Outside of Future, Daniel is a global poetry slam champion and has performed at festivals including Latitude, Bestival and more. He is the author of Arbitrary and Unnecessary: The Selected Works of Daniel Piper (Selected by Daniel Piper).