The time-lapse video demonstrates the brand's removal of preservatives in 2020.

By Tim Nelson
Updated February 21, 2020
Advertisement

Though most fast food starts to taste pretty mediocre once it starts to cool down, the truth is that preservatives often act to make the food itself pretty indestructible for significant periods of time. Look no further than the ten year-old McDonald’s burger that seemingly hasn’t aged a day, which isn’t even close to the oldest intact fast food item if various other claims from around the world are to be believed.

But with consumers increasingly wary of the artificial preservatives that keep these old burgers looking young, Burger King is betting that an ad showcasing a rotting burger will be the key to selling more Whoppers. Watch the ad below:

Over the course of a 45-second time-lapse video, we see a Whopper getting the usual food artistry treatment that’s been used to make fast food look appetizing for years now. But it’s what happens next that’s astounding: we see the Whopper decompose over the course of 34 days, first sort of deflating before descending into a state of moldy decay. While we have no idea what would happen to this burger ten years later, you can bet it wouldn’t be pretty.

Though it might seem like a subliminal ploy to get fast food fans to eat healthier, the ad actually has a legitimate marketing purpose. Burger King ends the video by stating that it plans to introduce Whoppers without preservatives to all of its US restaurants by the end of 2020.

"At Burger King restaurants, we believe that real food tastes better," Restaurant Brands International Global Chief Marketing Officer Fernando Machado said in a company statement. "That’s why we are working hard to remove preservatives, colors and flavors from artificial sources from the food we serve in all countries around the world."

Given that no sane person would want to eat a 34-day-old burger anyway, the marketing gambit makes sense. And if you’re eating a fast food burger at the point where artificial preservatives would come into play, you’re probably doing something wrong.