Burger King has released a flashy fever dream of a music video that opens with “yodeling kid” Mason Ramsey coming out of a flatulating cow’s rear.
cow farts & burps are no laughing matter. they release methane, contributing to climate change. that’s why we’re working to change our cows’ diet by adding lemongrass to reduce their emissions by approximately 33%. learn about our ongoing study: https://t.co/kPCXpjfbGL #CowsMenu pic.twitter.com/DnmF8gVVL0— Burger King (@BurgerKing) July 14, 2020
Called Cows Menu, the video was directed by Academy Award winner Michel Gondry. But while it’s impossible to deny the creativity that went into the color-and-cardboard-filled video itself, it’s the message that some consumers are clashing over.
The video is part of a campaign to educate consumers on the environmental impact of beef. To tackle this issue, Burger King has developed an open source recipe for cows that reduces methane emissions. Starting on July 14, select Burger King restaurants will offer the Reduced Methane Emissions Beef Whopper sandwich, according to a statement from the chain’s PR partner, Alison Brod Marketing + Communications.
The campaign was immediately met with mixed reviews. Some admonished the chain for “virtue signaling.”
Literally no one gives a shit that Burger King is reducing cow farts... what a complete waste of money on marketing for some stupid virtue signaling. #COWSMENU— Tim Young (@TimRunsHisMouth) July 14, 2020
Fernando Machado, global CMO for Burger King parent Restaurant Brands International, defended the campaign against skeptics.
We are global leaders on plant based burgers in fast food. I wish we could have a magic wand that turns everyone into plant based consumers from one day to another. But that’s not how it works ?? So we need to tackle the issue with different approaches.— Fer Machado (@fer_machado123) July 14, 2020
Here is the summary for you. We replicated it at UC Davis. I will be happy to share the complete peer reviewed paper when I have the green light from Octavio. I had to turn the document into images cause I dont think I can upload pdf here. Remember: This is just the summary. pic.twitter.com/MRgeu0seF0— Fer Machado (@fer_machado123) July 14, 2020
Others were fans of the campaign and called it a “step in the right direction.”
Seeing a lot of people complain and saying "just stop eating meat!" but this is a step in the right direction in accepting and tackling a problem to try and make a positive change for the world. Baby steps are better than nothing. #CowsMenu https://t.co/GALB2xZOtX— ? (@ellismontgomery) July 14, 2020
There are SO many things that I ?? about this. Accountability, science-driven solutions, and is that the yodeling kid? This campaign is a great step towards an integrated approach to reducing emissions. Not everyone will be veg, so make the meat more sustainable! #CowsMenu https://t.co/uy3SVYYzRL— Rachel Ratliff (@rjratliff28) July 14, 2020
This is the most honesty I’ve seen from a major contributor to climate change. “Since we are part of the problem, we are working to be part of the solution.” if only all major companies/polluters thought this way. #CowsMenu https://t.co/rFxq6afTsH— Andrew Clark (@andrqew) July 14, 2020
Does Burger King’s latest eye-catching campaign pass the smell test for you?
How do you feel about Burger King’s war against cow farts?— @PRWeekUS (@PRWeekUS) July 14, 2020