Whopper Virgins

Burger King is really on a roll these days with oddball left-field marketing initiatives like the recently-cancelled Facebook “Friend Sacrifice” app, which enabled users to earn a free Whopper by de-friending ten of their friends on the popular social networking platform. After attending a great presentation by Kathleen Fitzpatrick about the future (or lack thereof) of scarcity-based academic publishing practices, I visited her site at mediacommons and eventually stumbled on this somewhat unrelated item, the latest in Burger King’s strangely compelling viral marketing spree:

Commentary by Chris Boulton:

At first glance, this all struck me as just another ugly throw-back to the “human zoos” of World’s Fairs past. But could “Whopper Virgins” also be doing some good? For instance, what do you think of the “I’d like to buy a world a Coke” globalization ethos that swirls around this text? Like Nanook in its time, might this crass quasi-anthropological navel-gazing through the other also serve to help spark an affective response of identification with an utterly unfamiliar native culture? In other words, could there be some cross-cultural empathy tucked inside that greasy hamburger wrapper of commercialism? (in media res)