I can't decide if Burger King's ghost billboards are dumb or brilliant

Whopper burger with a red line through it
Not a Whopper in sight (Image credit: DAVID Madrid/Future)

When it comes to ingenious print advertising, Burger King is up there with the best of brands. Often taking swipes at its most famous McRival, the burger pedlar's ads are frequently irreverent. But its latest Halloween-themed is so hilariously lazy that I can't decide if it's terrible or brilliant.

The brand's new 'Ghost Campaign' is exactly that – a campaign without any assets. Well, that's not strictly true, there's a video explaining the concept. But the whole thing centres around a bunch of 'invisible' billboard ads that don't exist. Take a picture of one, and you could win yourself some (real) food. (For some actual brilliant ads, check out our roundup of the best billboards around.)

Invented by advertising agency DAVID Madrid, the campaign challenges customers to take photos of 'ghost' advertising in places you'd normally expect to see ads – vacant TV screens, empty streets, walls, etc. Share a photo on Twitter (sorry, X) with the not-that-catchy hashtag #SometimesISeeBurger, and you could win a Whopper.

So, in short, it's a campaign that asks users to take photos of nothing. “With so many brands joining this date, it is increasingly difficult to surprise and find fresh ideas,” DAVID Madrid creative director Fred Bosch shared in a press release. “That’s why this time, we have left terror aside and created an idea based on humour and irreverence, so characteristic of Burger King.” It's certainly true that irreverence is one of the brand's advertising hallmarks – from mouldy Whoppers to farting cows, Burger King rarely plays it straight.

It's hard to know how to respond to a campaign so lacking in content, but then we have to admire the audacity of basically pretending a bunch of advertising exists. And this is of course by no means the first Halloween campaign we've seen in 2023 – even Apple is getting uncharacteristically involved in spooky season this year.

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Daniel John
Senior News Editor

Daniel John is Senior News Editor at Creative Bloq. He reports on the worlds of art, design, branding and lifestyle tech (which often translates to tech made by Apple). He joined in 2020 after working in copywriting and digital marketing with brands including ITV, NBC, Channel 4 and more.