This is a whopper of a pro-net neutrality advertisement.
On Wednesday, Burger King released a new commercial that uses their famed Whoppers to explain to unsuspecting customers what a world without net neutrality would look like if it were food at stake instead of the internet. And they deliciously took a jab at Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai in the process.
At the end of 2017, the FCC voted to repeal net neutrality despite mass opposition. The repeal rolls back Obama-era provisions called “Title II” regulations. These rules made the internet a public utility, requiring internet service providers to treat all the data on their networks the same.
Critics say the repeal could allow internet service providers to speed up or slow down internet usage based on a pay structure. An example would be a provider like Verizon, which owns HuffPost’s parent company Oath, deciding that its wireless customers can view HuffPost content without data charges.
This is the concept Burger King taught a few infuriated customers who simply wanted a Whopper. The Burger King “employees” in the ad explained to hungry patrons that if they wanted a sandwich, they’d have to wait or pay $25.99 for faster service.
“Burger King corporation believes that they can sell more and make more money selling chicken sandwiches and chicken fries, so now they’re slowing down the access to the Whopper” one of the employees said.
The result is angered customers who called the system both a “bad dream” and the “worst thing I’ve ever heard of.”
Luckily, none of the patrons had to actually pay the fake premium for faster service as Burger King revealed that the entire thing was a setup, but the mealtime lesson did teach them all a few things. One previously upset man said that he “didn’t think that ordering a Whopper would really open my eyes up to net neutrality.”
“A Whopper taught me about net neutrality. It’s stupid, but true,” another said.
If you stick around to the end of the ad, you can spot the Burger King mascot drinking from an oversized Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups mug ― the same sort of cup Pai is known for using.
Fernando Machado, Burger King’s global chief marketing officer told Recode that they created the ad because “we believe the internet should be like BURGER KING® restaurants, a place that doesn’t prioritize and welcomes everyone. That is why we created this experiment, to call attention to the potential effects of net neutrality.”
The video’s tagline is also: “The BURGER KING® brand believes the internet should be like the WHOPPER® sandwich: the same for everyone.”
The future of net neutrality is currently in Congress’ hands, it has the power to reverse the FCC’s vote. Perhaps Burger King’s advertisements will sway individuals to talk to their lawmakers.
Or maybe it’ll just make you hungry.