How Burger King Is Using 'Karens' To Promote Its Menu

In the world of retail and restaurants, the "Karen" is one of the worst types of customers. These customers typically believe they know more than the business' employees — and everyone else for that matter. Needless to say, they aren't exactly the folks you'd want representing your business or even with whom to associate. Why, then, is Burger King so eager to make Karens — the customers who are quick to ask for the manager — the focal point of its marketing campaign? 

Burger King's newest ad, per The Drum, features a woman calling 911 from one of its locations. While calling 911 may insinuate some kind of emergency — perhaps a fellow patron is having some kind of medical emergency, or maybe there was an accident in the kitchen — what this woman is calling about is something beyond the point of absurdity. The customer demands, to the confusion of the dispatcher, that a deputy come down to the restaurant and somehow demand that the employees prepare the woman a cheeseburger the way she wants it. Even more shocking, a man is heard complaining over the emergency line about how Burger King is making him wait for his drink. 

While Burger King is all about doing it your way, they at least want you to send your feedback in a responsible manner. Hey, you might even get something out of it if you do, too.

You'll get a free Whopper if you send in feedback

As it would turn out, even if you don't get your way at Burger King, you can still get a free meal out of it. By sending the burger chain your feedback, either good or bad, through Burger King's official channels, you'll be eligible for a free Whopper. And we don't know about you, but a free burger sounds a lot better than the penalties suffered for misusing 911. After all, Burger King's Whopper is flame-broiled, making the taste all the better.

But why use examples of 911 calls to get the message across? The answer is that the chain wanted to show that such complaints and criticisms are real. Per Inside Radio, Nacho Flotta and Nicolas Vara, both executive creative directors at DAVID Buenos Aires, the company behind this new campaign, explained that these scenarios help to get people talking about how Burger King handles feedback and to let them know that the King is interested in what his customers have to say. Even if the consumer's experience wasn't "their way," Burger King would still want to hear about it and even make it up with a free burger.

Insipid calls to 911 about fast food aren't exactly unheard of anyway. According to WSPA, a man in Florida once called 911 over food he got from his local Checker's, wanting the food to be remade even though he had eaten a great deal of it already.