Burger King’s ad campaign about a scholarship for women to start culinary careers went horribly wrong when they started it with “Women belong in the kitchen.” Experts are saying it’s a classic example of when keeping it woke goes wrong.
In trying to celebrate International Women’s Day, Burger King’s UK arm came under fire for a misguided advertising strategy.
- On social media and in print ads, Burger King’s ad copy headlined “Women Belong in the Kitchen”, while following it up with the promotion of a new scholarship funded by the corporation to increase the number of women in the culinary industry and fine dining (It will award only two $25,000 scholarships).
- The tweets attracted considerable criticism with many upset about the sexist stereotype used to garner attention.
- They did defend the intent of the campaign, saying they are “committed to helping women break through a male-dominated culinary culture” and that the tweet “was designed to draw attention to the fact that only a small percentage of chefs and head chefs are women.”
- Burger King apologized and deleted the tweets.
- CNN reported on the hot takes and quick reactions to Burger King’s initial tweet, while highlighting the follow-up was meant to increase female representation in the culinary industry.
- Huffington Post called the ad campaign sexist, and noted one twitter user’s question of how much the advertising of the scholarships cost compared to the value of the scholarships.
- The Washington Post’s reporting framed it as another example of a corporation’s efforts to be eye-catching and provocative going horribly awry.
- The focus of Newsmax’s coverage was on “cancel culture”, referencing the backlash to the ad campaign.
- An opinion piece in the Daily Caller called Burger King’s ad campaign “a genius move,” saying “if the company tweets that it’s doing a scholarship program, nobody is going to care” but that the outrage drew the attention it desired.
- Reporting from The Blaze characterized the campaign as a “program meant to encourage and support women to seek culinary careers” that “fell flat on its face” when “feminists and others on the left instantly flew into a rage.”
© Dallas Gerber, 2021