They used to have a slogan at Burger King: "Have it your way."

Now, a new Burger King promotion is more like:  "Have it our way. Because we don't think you're clever enough to know the difference."

It's not a nefarious bait-and-switch or anything; it's more of a challenge.

It's all the result of the fact that the burger chain recently introduced two plant-based, meatless sandwiches in its restaurants in Sweden, called the "Rebel Whopper" and the "Rebel Chicken King." 

Now, it's a pretty bizarre promotion by American standards, Burger King says they'll give customers either a meat-based sandwich or a plant-based one -- but they won't tell them which. 

'A bloody mindf**k!'

It's called the 50/50 Menu, and we should point out that Burger King will eventually tell you which kind of burger you got, but only if you first scan the sandwich box with the Burger King app, and make a guess.

Burger King says it will release data on how often people guessed correctly at the end of the summer. (It's also another clever way to get people to download the Burger King app.)

"We are really proud of how hard it is to tell our plant-based burgers apart from real meat," the marketing director for Burger King in Sweden, Daniel Daniel Schroder, said. "With the 50/50 Menu, we hope that more people dare to try them. And hopefully have fun trying to figure out which one they got."

A few things to note:

  • Personally, I eat meat. But what if you're a hardcore vegetarian? How would those customers react to a 50 percent chance that they'll accidentally eat a quarter pound of cow?
  • This is an overseas promotion, Burger King but says it intends to expand the Rebel Whopper and Rebel Chicken King across Europe soon. Meanwhile, it's been rolling out the Impossible meatless burger at Burger Kings in the United States.
  • Finally, there's the Swedish TV ad, which probably wouldn't fly in the United States. About 24 seconds into the 60-second ad, a woman takes a bite of her Burger King sandwich and exclaims, "It's a bloody mindf**k!"

Don't try this in America

Now, I've enjoyed my share of Burger King over the years.

Not the food necessarily, but the promotions.

But I'm not sure this one would fly in the United States. Maybe if BK gave you a coupon off your next burger if you got the guess right or something.

Otherwise, I think not. We're a divided country right now, there's no doubt. But if there's one thing Americans don't like, it's having someone else tell us they're going to make our choices for us.

We'll try the plant-based burgers, sure. Just don't ask us to let you make the choice for us.

Published on: Jul 20, 2019
Like this column? Sign up to subscribe to email alerts and you'll never miss a post.
The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.