Absurdly Driven looks at the world of business with a skeptical eye and a firmly rooted tongue in cheek.
It's good to be the underdog.
You're more likely to incite sympathy. You're more likely to tell an uplifting story. And you're more likely to tweak the leader in ways the leader won't like.
Is there, though, a limit to rebeldom? I only ask because those perennial tweakers at Burger King have perpetrated something that is raising eyebrows. And, of course, hackles.
Next week sees the British people shutting their eyes and hoping their vote is one for sanity rather than more chaos.
Good luck with that, I hear you cry. That's not the world we live in. Yet Burger King has decided this is the moment to insert itself into the political debate.
It's running an ad on the side of a bus that reads:
Another Whopper On the Side Of A Bus. Must Be An Election.
A little contextual translation for U.S. readers: During the Brexit campaign, those supporting Britain's exit from the EU presented buses claiming that if Brexit happened there'd be an extra 350 million pounds a day for the country's National Health Service and other fine projects. This was, objective observers declared, complete piffle.
Yet it contributed greatly to the success of the Brexiteers -- one of whose leaders was current British Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
Parking was a nightmare this morning pic.twitter.com/f0CABkHniK-- Burger King (@BurgerKingUK) December 4, 2019
Still confused? Well, in English vernacular a whopper is a very, very large lie.
It seems, then, that Burger King is expressing clear support for parties opposing Johnson and Brexit. And doing it in a perfectly amusing way. Except, of course, these things don't amuse everyone.
Given the rampantly aggressive divisions in Britain -- this surely needs no translation for U.S. readers -- there have been angry responses.
A Twittered sample:
A reminder never to visit Burger King.
All Brexit supporters must now boycott Burger King.
Or, even worse, this:
I'm voting with my feet and going to McDonalds.
Many brands are desperate to keep away from politics, hard though that is. They worry they'll end up on the wrong side. They fear they'll alienate a large proportion of their customers.
I suspect Burger King isn't worried about that. Its whole ethos is to be talked about and spending as little money as possible achieving that. This bus, to the Burger King management, serves that purpose. (You're welcome.)
An additional element, of course, might be that Burger King believes much of its customer base is young. The young are said to prefer anyone but Johnson (and are also said to be the cause of Brexit by not bothering to vote). Ergo, Burger King is on their side.
Still, if Johnson somehow loses on the December 12 -- this is, polls have it, unlikely -- I wonder what the next Burger King ads will look like.
Perhaps a bus side with the line: "Whoppers Always Win."