Burger King premiered a new Whopper commercial that advocated for net neutrality more than its signature burger.
You may have heard about “net neutrality,” especially since the Federal Communications Commission categorized broadband as a public utility during the Obama Administration in 2015. This meant Internet service providers couldn’t create an Internet fast lane by prioritizing certain online content.
The FCC repealed net neutrality in late 2017, under FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai, who was appointed to the commission by President Obama, but was made chairman by President Trump.
The Burger King commercial, titled “Whopper Neutrality,” explains what could happen without net neutrality. But instead of the Internet, it uses burgers to spread the message.
In the commercial, frustrated Burger King customers choose between the Whopper fast lane vs. slow lane—depending on how much they’re willing to pay. In doing so, they learn that certain non-Whopper menu items are prioritized over others.
For example, people who order a chicken sandwich get their meal quicker. And even though burgers are cooked, assembled, and ready, a Burger King employee explains that policy dictates a very slow handoff.
“I didn’t think ordering a Whopper would really open my eyes to net neutrality,” one customer exclaims in the video.
“We believe the internet should be like Burger King restaurants, a place that doesn’t prioritize and welcomes everyone,” global chief marketing officer Fernando Machado, said in a statement. “That is why we created this experiment, to call attention to the potential effects of net neutrality.”
While this may be true, it’s also still an ad meant to catch the eyes of millennials. Though the video directs customers to an online petition to support in net neutrality, tech news site Recode found no evidence that the burger behemoth has gone to the additional step of supporting net neutrality through lawsuits or lobbying like some major tech companies have done.