February was deliciously eventful for food marketing – complete with moldy Whoppers, free Leap Day deliveries, and internet controversies, oh my! We’ve rounded up the biggest winners and losers here on the OPUSfidelis blog for your reading (and viewing) enjoyment. Bon appetit!

Moldy Whopper’s unappealing aesthetic

Recently, Burger King’s “Moldy Whopper” campaign has garnered significant attention. Aimed at demonstrating how all-natural and preservative-free its burgers are, the ads feature photos of moldy Whoppers, and a minimalist video showing a timelapse of a Whopper transitioning from freshness to moldiness. To our persistent befuddlement, many media-marketing outlets have nothing but praise for the campaign. The Drum published an article opining that “it belongs in that rarified air of adverts that tend to make you think in ways you’ve never thought before.”

Dave Damman, executive vice-president, managing director and chief creative officer at the Buntin Group, which created the campaign for Burger King, told the Drum:

I’m guessing our sense of sight is not nearly as connected to appetite appeal as strongly as is our sense of smell or taste. Now, if this were a scratch-and-sniff print ad, then it would be a different story.

Moldy Whopper

Source: The Drum

Is that so, Dave? Because seeing a moldy burger doesn’t turn anyone’s stomach. Not at all. Aren’t you compelled by that image to go out and buy a Whopper? Neither are we.

Krispy Kreme’s Leap Day deliveries

Krispy Kreme decided to make hay on Leap Day and offer a deal even sweeter than its original glazed donuts: the company is delivering free donuts to hospital delivery staff helping bring babies into the world on Leap Day. Awww. How does it work? In a press release, Krispy Kreme related:

On Leap Day, expectant parents, families, doctors, nurses and other maternity ward staff at hospitals within 10 miles of most Krispy Kreme shops can post on social media when a baby is delivered, citing the hospital, tagging @KrispyKreme and using #KrispyKremeSpecialDelivery. Throughout the day, Krispy Kreme will surprise and delight families and hospital staff with deliveries of five dozen FREE doughnuts for sweet celebrations of the most special deliveries: Leap Day babies.

Krispy Kreme Special Delivery

Source: Krispy Kreme

The event provides a fitting occasion for Krispy Kreme to delve into the national delivery service for the first time.

KFC, Kanye, and Kim

KFC recently jumped on the pop culture bandwagon by piggy-backing on the publicity generated by Kanye West and Kim Kardashian. Last week the celebrity couple was spotted in a KFC in Paris, and KFC quickly turned the event to their advantage, tweeting out an image of a “custom” bucket in their honor, featuring the profound Kanye lyrics: “Me and my girl split the buffet at KFC.”

But KFC is no stranger to the pop culture game – last year the company captured attention with its “Bucket Bangers” playlist on Spotify, featuring songs with lyrics mentioning KFC.

Jif and Giphy – an unlikely alliance

But the supreme winner is most assuredly Jif – with a soft ‘g’ – you know, like Gif. The peanut butter brand recently capitalized on an ongoing internet controversy over the pronunciation of the word “Gif,” which describes animated looping images. Short for “graphics interchange format,” the word Gif incites ire betwixt the camps alleging it should be said with a hard ‘g’ and those who vote soft ‘g.’ (For the record, the creator Steven Wilhite came out years ago declaring that it should be pronounced with a soft ‘g,’ but the internet is… the internet. Controversies remain, keeping the web aflame.)

Nothing brings people together like a good controversy, right?

In partnership with the animated imaging site Giphy, Jif is bringing customers limited edition peanut butter jars, insisting on the hard ‘g’ pronunciation.

GifJif Peanut Butter

Source: the Drum

“If you’ve ever called a Gif a Jif, we forgive you,” reads one of the limited-edition lids.

But hold up – they also produced a minute-and-a-half video featuring a supposed linguistic expert’s refutation of Jif’s hard ‘g’ stance. The tongue-in-cheek clip features “Gary Goodman,” discussing this highly important subject, his monologue littered with soft ‘g’s throughout, regardless of whether they belong or not.

It is perhaps, their “jreatest” ad campaign to-date.

Want a jar of your own Gif/Jif peanut butter? You can buy the limited edition jars on Amazon for $10.