Burger King delivers a powerful anti-bullying message
Fast food restaurants are no strangers to customer complaints. Burger King is well aware of this. Customers have no trouble speaking up about a damaged burger.
But will they do the same about a young boy?
A new ad from the fast food chain tackles bullying, and specifically shines a light on the silence of bystanders.
The three-minute video, which states that “30% of students worldwide are bullied each year,” employs hidden cameras to show how much more likely people are to step up to the counter to complain about their “bullied” burger than they are to say anything about a young boy being bullied right in from of them.
The commercial pits Burger King’s Whopper Jr. against a high school junior to see what would happen when someone harassed and abused each entity. Unfortunately, it seems most people preferred to rescue their food than their fellow human being.
The video, titled “Bullying Jr.,” kicks off with kids talking about bullying, and explaining that sometimes “it’s easier to do nothing” when victimized, partially because sometimes “you’re just glad that you’re not being bullied.”
The video shows plenty of adults watching as hired actors play out a scene in which they mock and push another kid, pouring his drink on his food and knocking him to the floor. Most of the adults do nothing, until their unwrap their burger and notice it has also been knocked around.
Most customers don’t hesitate to bring the burger to the counter and even summon the manager to try to rectify that situation, while the defenseless kid continues to get picked on right behind them.
As the video winds down, the viewer is informed that 95% of customers reported the bullying of the Whopper Jr. 12% stood up to the bullying of the high school junior.
The video ends with on a slightly more upbeat note, as we see the small handful of customers who actually stepped in to check on the bullied boy, and prevent the other kids from continuing to harass him.
A man who intervened explains how terrible feeling defenseless feels, and a woman tells the boy that “the ideal world is where somebody else sees something weird happening they’ll come over and be like, ‘hey, this is not okay!'” Unfortunately, as this video starkly demonstrates, this is far from the ideal world.
A few of the real-life students featured in the video express their gratitude for those people who actually did step in when they were being bullied, and it’s clear both how rare and how meaningful getting that support can be.
We need more adults to step up and speak out when they can. After all, many of us, like the man who confronts the bullies in the video, have experienced similar situations in their youth. Hopefully, this video will remind us that it’s more important to rescue actual victims than to protect our value meals.
You can visit nobully.org to help put an end to bullying.