Ad Space – Dr. Angus

You are now entering Ad Space, a realm of commercials, brought before us so we might examine how they work, and discuss why we both love and hate them so. So it is written …

The Product:
Burger King

The Promotion:

The Pitch:
Technically, fast food burgers are a diet, too.

How many of us have “go on a diet” as part of our New Year’s resolutions?

For fast food restaurants, diet conscious consumers can be both a problem and an opportunity. On the one hand, someone who’s trying to lose weight will probably want to avoid their greasy and deep fat fried offerings. On the other hand, it gives them the chance to tout their supposedly healthier and lower calorie meals, while painting the other fast food joints as the unhealthy ones.

But in this ad, Burger King took a different approach. They don’t bother trying to make their mass produced burgers seem healthy (even if they’re made from real Angus beef, which was supposedly a big selling point at the time). Instead, they satirize the whole idea of dieting, by creating their own “Angus Diet”, with its own sleazy motivational speaker who recites a bunch of feel-good claptrap.

They put all the energy and rhetoric of fad diets into telling people to eat Angus beef burgers. Not claiming it will help them lose weight, but “The Angus diet isn’t about losing anything. It’s about finding. Finding joy, finding pleasure.”

They’re not expecting anyone to take this as serious diet advice, of course. Rather, it’s to make people wonder if the diet plans they’ve been hearing about really have any more substance to them than Dr. Angus. What Burger King’s trying to imply is that all diets are works of hucksterism, so why not choose the diet that at least provides you with delicious Angus beef?

I’ll admit, “If you eat, you’re on a diet; a diet is what you eat” is a line I’ve used in my own life.