If Burger King was trying to appeal to a rave-y, underground base in Russia, it worked. A recent commercial of theirs is a hallucinatory trip that is either aiming to make the King into a trendy, ironic hotspot by way of its ridiculousness, or is perhaps an actual exercise in hypnosis.
The ad opens with cast members of Moscow’s popular hip hop musical, Cops on Fire, Adweek reports, pumping themselves up to enter the Whopper paradise. They soon find themselves greeted by an ethereal goddess enjoying a burger, sitting atop a unicorn in a state of ecstasy. Pulsating beats and whooping sirens set the backdrop for the rapper to bust in and guide the viewer through the underground club that is Burger King. There’s fire-breathing, tattoo artists, hamburger turntables, burgers hidden under turbans, slo-mo dicing of tomatoes in mid-air, fog machines, dancers, seductive biting of lips, and a Die Antwoord-level of white-trash shtick.
In the U.S., Burger King has been aiming to appeal to a more health-conscious crowd, turning to buzzwords like “fresh,” “healthy,” and “guacamole” in ad spots, and featuring close-up shots of their burgers and ingredients. Some of the very same shots of tomatoes, onions and other produce in the U.S. commercial are in the Russian Burger King ad, but it’s elevated to a whole different level. For Russia, BK is selling a lifestyle — even if that lifestyle is slightly off-kilter.