If you were anywhere online last week, you may have seen the by-now infamous ‘Pride Whopper’ campaign launched on Instagram by Burger King’s Austrian division. Well, the commotion it raised was apparently significant enough that the agency behind it, Jung von Matt Donau, has issued an apology.
The elevator pitch of the campaign was that the burger could be ordered with two of the same bun halves – so, two of the seeded top bun, or two of the flat bottom bun. The idea clearly being a kind of inelegant, bready tribute to same-sex love and all that good stuff. However, there was a specific reason that it quickly became something that's probably going to end up in our list of the worst design fails of 2022.
The thing was – as many, many people pointed out – that the campaign meant you could order a burger that consisted of two tops or two bottoms.
We said at the time that we weren’t sure whether this was intentional – and now it seems like it very much wasn’t. In a statement posted on LinkedIn, the agency said, “We at JvM Donau are proud of our queer community within our agency. Unfortunately, we still messed up and didn’t check well enough with community members on different interpretations of the Pride Whopper. That’s on us.”
The agency went on to apologise to any “members of the LGBTQ Community” who were offended by the campaign. “We’ve learned our lessons and will include experts on communicating with the LGBTQ community for future work as promoting equal love and equal rights will still be a priority for us,” the statement concluded.
The reaction on Twitter didn't appear to just be people offended by the campaign; there was actually quite a mixture, with a lot of people somewhere along a scale between being baffled and taking a lot of vicious schadenfreude joy in the whole thing.
I’m just obsessed with the same-bun Pride Whopper promo because straight people saw it and were like “oh ok it’s like two boys and two girls I guess” and gay people saw it and were like “??? two tops and two bottoms????” IncredibleJune 7, 2022
one pride whopper with extra gayo please pic.twitter.com/1Xb42clOEOJune 9, 2022
Babe are you feeling ok? You still haven’t touched your pride whopper pic.twitter.com/PU4VkwvB5zJune 8, 2022
But of course, it's impossible to speak for everyone, and if queer people did feel offended by the campaign, then Jung von Matt Donau is definitely right to have apologised.
Although, with that said, the campaign is still live and raking in the engagements on Burger King Austria’s Instagram. So, the key takeaway seems to be that we’re currently at different levels of “sorry” across the Pride Whopper coalition.
If you'd like to see some actually decent Pride content, check out our run-down of the 5 best Pride logos this year. And if that inspires you to make your own, you may want to use one of the best logo designers or best free logo makers to help.