Burger King has launched a marketing campaign that could be described as a staring competition or a face-off between the fast-food consumer and an unlikely opponent: the company's flame-broiled burger.
Dubbed, "WhopperLust," the burger chain has partnered with DirecTV in the US to create a dedicated channel where images of their signature sandwich rotating on a fiery grill loop continuously on the screen - not unlike dedicated channels that show roaring fireplaces.
The challenge? To stare "intently" at the screen for as long as you can in order to win free burgers. The longer you watch the screen without batting an eye, the more burgers you win.
As the commercial notes: "Look away. No Whopper. Fall asleep. No Whopper. Change the channel. No Whopper."
To prove you're watching the screen, viewers must look out for messages cuing them to press random buttons on the remote. After five minutes, you score a free Whopper. Another 10 minutes nets you a second. If you're able to zone out for another 15 minutes - that's a total of 30 minutes - you win three burgers in total. Coupons are mailed to the viewers.
In a direct stab at marketing companies which give away free food for simply "Liking" their products on Facebook, ad agency Crispin Porter + Bogusky preface their commercial by saying that Burger King's Whopper is "worth a whole lot more than that."
On Monday of this week, Americans spent 150,000 minutes starting at the sandwich. According to ClickZ.com, a marketing publication, that's expected to balloon to 810,000 minutes or 13,500 hours by Friday.
DirecTV is on channel 111 in the US.
The concept to loop images of food was also used by Canadian restaurant chain Swiss Chalet. The company caused a stir earlier this year when they developed a 24-hour TV channel in Ontario that consists of nothing more than a rotisserie chicken rotating on a spit. The non-stop commercial airs on Rogers TV on channel 208, as well as their website and can be downloaded as a screensaver. The aim is to whet the appetites of idle channel surfers.
To watch the promo video, visit http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3KTx8VA745w.